There used to be an elderly homeless gentleman who swept the sidewalks by the art school in Portland. There were a lot of trees there, so there was a pretty good supply of leaves. This was when the art school was in the Museum on the tony Park Blocks.
Stocking cap, a tan cloth raincoat, winter and summer. A shopping cart home with an assortment of brooms and rakes, he was very, very shy. Over months and years, some of the art students befriended him. They would bring him tools, lunch, a sweater, mittens. They discovered he could fix just about anything electronic - like boomboxes or radios. This was before iPods. The rumor was that he had been an engineer at the Texas Instruments electronics company. Every day he would conscientiously sweep the walkways around the school. We called him the sweeper.
One day he just disappeared. My worried friends went to the police to report him missing. They could not take a missing person report without a name! Seems like the police are, more often than not, there when you don't want them, or not there when you do. Sad, they weren't interested.
This was not the story's end. I was visiting Seattle a few years later and found the sweeper carefully sweeping the sidewalks around the Four Seasons Hotel downtown. This old school hotel has more pedigree than the Hiltons, money and class. The Seattle hotel. Here was a homeless man, who no one but a few art students cared about, making around himself, a perfect world.
My friends were happy to hear their friend was fine.