Artist Who Takes Photos Of Abandoned Buildings, Makes Life-Changing Find In Dilapidated Home

Updated April 13, 2017

Accounts of people helping others in desperate need are truly inspirational. This story of a photographer from Ontario, Canada, helping a man who seemed completely down and out, is very moving.

Leslie, also known as “The Tourist,” posts her adventures and photography on Instagram. She often explores abandoned places and photographs areas that appear uninhabitable. The result is some very beautiful and stirring artwork.

When she went to explore one home that seemed completely deserted, she came upon an older man, named Lawrence, who lived there alone.

Leslie wrote about Lawrence’s story on Instagram, posting a photo of the man, standing in the rundown home with junk strewn around him. She explained in the caption: “This is Lawrence. He lives in a house I had believed to be abandoned. The driveway is overgrown, the roof is caving in and the interior would lead anyone to believe this land had been deserted. I found him in the living room. He has a hard time getting around so he spends most of his time in there. Alone. He is missing his right eye and has cataracts infecting the left.”

She continued: “Even after noticing a stranger essentially helping themselves to his life he was nothing but sweet and kind to me. He was even nice enough to let me take his picture which I will always treasure. He is a beautiful soul and I plan on visiting him a lot. I’m posting this picture in hopes that it will inspire at least one person to reach out to someone they may have lost contact with or perhaps just forgot about. These old souls are still full of life and I feel blessed to have met this one. #abandoned #thetourist #lost_souls #new_friends.”

In another post, she explained how she visited him and began to help the man, noting: “Promises kept. An update on my friend – he is in good spirits and is very happy to have some room in his home. I’ve managed to remove his old fridge, stove, and chest freezer, along with numerous bags of garbage and other content…He is beyond grateful, not just to me. He knows you are all following his story.”

She also explains that Lawrence visited the doctor and “it’s apparent that his health is declining, rapidly.” She added, “These may be the last few months I have with my friend and I plan to make them as comfortable and enjoyable for him as possible. He’s informed me of his funeral arrangements and has asked me to be there. I told him I wouldn’t have it any other way. He shared something with me that will stay with me forever. He said the day I showed up was the best day of his life. As self righteous as I feel writing that, I understand how he feels. The best day of my life was when I met him. He gave me the chance to really do something for someone – an act of kindness with no expectation of reward. It’s a rare opportunity and I’m glad I was able to accept the challenge.”

How remarkable that their lives intersected in such a powerful way.

The man moved to a retirement home and Leslie continued to visit him. She regularly posts photos with her friend, with one update noting: “I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, that day I did a U-turn and found myself at a house that would change my life forever. Everyone always tells me how much I have helped Lawrence, but I haven’t done a thing that he hasn’t done for me too. He shifted something in my head and in my heart, and through our visits, and his kindness, I was able to begin to heal inside.”