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.

Elmer’s Story

Photo: Courtesy of Boredom Therapy

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

Photo: Courtesy of Boredom Therapy

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

Photo: Courtesy of Toronto Star

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

Photo: Courtesy of Boredom Therapy

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…

Jackpot

Photo: Courtesy of Atlanta Black Star

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

Photo: Courtesy of WTNH

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

Photo: Courtesy of Fox 61

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

Photo: Courtesy of Boredom Therapy

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

Photo: Courtesy of Euronews

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

Photo: Courtesy of Maternity Week

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

Photo: Courtesy of 9 News

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

Photo: Courtesy of CBS News

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

Photo: Courtesy of NBC News

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.

 

  • About Author

    Angeles

    24 - Argentina.

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

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