What Happened to this Homeless Man Changed his Life Forever

Most of the things we find on the street are useless, but a homeless man found something on the street that changed his life forever. Today, we’ll look at the story of a man whose world got turned upside down in the blink of an eye.

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Elmer’s Story

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Elmer Alvarez was a homeless man who lived in New England. Winters are hard for most people, but the cold is especially hard on the homeless.  He endured several winters on his own, battling the snow while sleeping on the sidewalk.

Beating the Odds

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Like many people on the street, drug addiction led him down a dangerous road. But, even though he didn’t have a  home to go to, he managed to attend NA meetings and eventually he overcame his addiction.

Living in the Streets

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Getting himself off the streets was something he strived for, but it’s easier said than done, and many people never make it. He tried for many years without success, until a cold November morning, when his life changed forever.

A Piece of Paper

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Most people would pass by without noticing a small piece of paper on the street, but Elmer stopped to examine it when he saw it on the ground. But it wasn’t a bit of trash, or a discarded receipt…


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Elmer picked up the piece of paper, only to find out it was much more than that: it was a lost check for $10,000. It was also endorsed, which would allow Elmer to cash it upon presenting it before a bank. The solution to all his problems was in the palm of his hand.

A Heart of Gold

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The thought of keeping the money, however, never crossed Elmer’s mind. He inspected the check and found a phone number written on its back, which could help him track its owner.

The Call

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Elmer walked the cold streets until he managed to get access to a cellphone, and asked a friend to call the number, as he only spoke Spanish. After a few seconds, someone on the other side picked up.

First Contact

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Roberta Hoskie, a real estate magnate and president of a real estate school answered the phone. She couldn’t believe her ears when Elmer’s friend explained to her what had happened. She wasted no time and told him she wanted to meet Elmer immediately.

The Encounter that Changed his Life

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Roberta decided to document their meeting on Facebook Live, to show the world Elmer’s good deed. Up to that point, Roberta wasn’t aware of his situation, until Elmer’s friend told her that he was, in fact, homeless. Learning that made the events all the more meaningful, because of Roberta’s past.

Similar Backgrounds

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At just 17 years old, Roberta was pregnant and had to drop out of school. She ended up living in a shelter to avoid living on the streets, and had no money to provide for her child on her own. So how did she end up being a real estate magnate?

Started from the Bottom

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When Roberta got an internship at Yale University, she escaped debilitating poverty and made her dreams come true. But she never forgot her time in the shelters, and that made her realize that crossing paths with Elmer was no coincidence.

United by Fate

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Roberta knew that this was the perfect opportunity to give back and change somebody’s life, just like it happened to her. She wanted to give Elmer what he needed to live a better life and wasted no time.

An Unlikely Friendship

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Elmer burst into grateful tears as Roberta handed him a check. But that wasn’t all she had planned for him: she decided to change his life completely and give him a fresh start.

Spreading the Word

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Thanks to her Facebook Live stream, thousands of people heard about Elmer’s good deed. That was only the first step of her plan, however. She offered Elmer free English classes, along with free lessons at her real estate school. And that’s not all…

The Gift of Kindness

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On top of the classes, Roberta got him a place to live with the first 6 months of rent and bills completely covered. In addition, she got him a job interview at a real estate office. The amazing story of the pair went viral, and they were invited to tell their story on a TV show.

The Cherry on Top

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During their appearance on the show, Elmer was reunited with his mother, who he had not seen in years. In a matter of months, Elmer and Roberta founded the Outreach Foundation, to help other homeless individuals. As realtors, they acquire dilapidated properties and transform them into transitional homes.


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    24 - Argentina.

    She's a journalist and a website developer based in New York.

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