Doing the right thing doesn’t always lead to personal gain, but every once and again someone is rewarded for being a good person.
Elmer Alvarez was homeless when he returned a large sum of money to its rightful owner. This honest act ended up causing a series of events that would ultimately change his life – and the lives of others.
Elmer found a $10K check in New Haven, Connecticut.
$10,000 could have solved a lot of problems for Elmer but it wasn’t his money. He did the right thing and went looking for the rightful owner of the check.
The money belonged to a real estate agent named Roberta Hoskie. The check had slipped out of her pocket at a busy intersection and she hadn’t realized it was gone until the next day.
Roberta decided to film her meeting with Elmer.
When Roberta met up with Elmer she discovered that he had trouble speaking English. He had brought a friend with him to help communicate. She also found out that Elmer did not have a permanent place to live, he was currently homeless.
Roberta streamed her interaction with Elmer on Facebook Live. She mentioned that there are many stereotypes and false beliefs out there about people who are homeless. Roberta then went back to the office to write the man a check as a reward for his honesty and kind action.
What causes homelessness?
According to the National Homelessness Law Center, the main reasons people experience homelessness are:
- Lack of affordable housing.
- Low wages.
- Mental illness.
- Substance abuse and the lack of needed services.
For women in particular, domestic violence is the leading cause of homelessness.
Solving homelessness is not always as easy as giving someone a job and clean clothes. In this particular situation, however, Roberta was in a spot where she could offer Elmer the help he needed.
Roberta in a unique position to help.
Roberta was touched by Elmer’s kind action. She decided to reciprocate his kindness. Roberta decided to pay for Elmer to go to real estate school and then become an employee of her company. She also found him an apartment and paid his rent for 7 months.
Roberta knew how to escape homelessness.
Roberta knew that a job in real estate is a potential way out of homelessness. She knew this because that’s exactly what happened to her. Roberta shared that she had once been a high school dropout that was struggling to raise a child as a single mother.
She lived in a shelter and had only around $400 to raise her son. That was until someone gave her a job that led to the success she experiences now. She wanted to do the same for Elmer.
Elmer passes his real estate exam.
Roberta decided to film the day Elmer got his results back on his real estate exam. He passed. Much like Roberta had done years ago, Elmer was about to start work as a real estate agent.
Roberta and Elmer start Outreach Foundation.
As two people who had experienced homelessness, Elmer and Roberta wanted to give back. They started the Outreach Foundation. The organization provides transitional homes for teenagers experiencing homelessness, substance abuse awareness programs, church services, and more.
Now, much like Roberta, Elmer is giving back and helping those who could use a hand.
Watch the video below!
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