Homeless Man Returns 10k Check, The Owner Turns Out To Be Special

Winds Of Change

He looked at the crinkled piece of paper in his dirty, weathered hands.

This scrap could be the salvation he was praying for – but that meant someone else might suffer instead. He looked down the street, antagonizing which direction to walk – to the bank or in search of the owner. He looked at the measly change in his cup. 

Still Struggling

Elmer Alvarez had been living on the streets for a few years. Even though he scratched and clawed to get clean, the hard work didn’t pay off. 

He still sat in the cold Connecticut autumn and begged for change. How was he going to survive another horrible winter? Just then, a flutter of white caught his eye.

Many Zeros

It was a scrap of paper, nothing special it seemed ... at least at first. 

The wind blew it towards him and he grabbed it out of curiosity. The precision lines and professional text made him do a double-take. But it was the big, bold number on the front that made him collapse. That was a lot of zeros.

The Jackpot

The bank check was for $10k. He started to shake, but not from the chill – the receiver’s part was blank and the back was signed.

 It could be made out to anyone. It was the miracle he had been hoping for. It was a way to pull himself out of poverty. …But was it right of him to keep it?

The Right Thing

Elmer wandered down the sidewalk. Part of him desperately wanted it. 

But when he imagined the other person realizing it was gone … it put knots in his stomach. He wandered over to his friend and asked to borrow his phone. “I can’t believe you’re going to do this,” the friend said. 

Immeasurable Relief 

The phone rang and a woman answered. Elmer explained what he had found. 

He could hear her scrambling on the other end, emptying out her purse, and gasping. “Oh my god, thank you! I’ll come to pick it up right now.” If only he knew who was coming to meet him.

Friend's Help

Roberta Hoskie ran towards them. She thanked him over and over for his honesty. 

Elmer shyly told her it was no problem and said nothing else. His friend also noticed the silence, so he explained that Elmer was homeless and just too proud to say it. It was then something unexpected happened.

His First Reward

It wasn’t the normal look of pity he was used to; it was sadness – extreme sadness. 

She wiped away tears, pulled out her own checkbook, and handed him his reward. His chest swelled. He couldn’t believe the number. They chatted for a few more moments then parted ways. Sadly, Elmer was about to run into a problem.

Bank Refuses

The amount made his heart race. It was his ticket out of his problems, but when he handed it over at the bank, they looked him up and down with disdain and refused.

 To them, it had to be forged. They even went as far as calling Roberta. The money went through, but that wasn’t the end.

A Second Suprise

Elmer brushed as much of the dirt off his clothes as he could before the elevator doors opened. 

He was already nervous, but when they opened and a large crowd greeted him with cheers, he could only sit there, stunned. Roberta came to him and said, “There’s something about me I didn’t tell you.”

Firsthand Experience

“I was homeless too,” she said. The powerful woman before he had gone through exactly what he had. 

She also knew that one lump of money wasn’t going to help him. Everyone waited eagerly as she handed him a bigger piece of paper. It was a certificate. “I’m going to teach you how to fish,” she said.

Free Classes

 The certificate was from the Ms. Millionaire Mindset (a group that helps with poverty), along with Roberta, they were going to do two things for him. 

First, he was going to get free classes to learn how to be a real estate agent like her. Elmer was already in tears, but the second part completely broke him down.

New Home

Roberta had paid for an apartment for him for the next six months. 

When he was done his studies, there was an interview waiting for him at her friend’s firm. “I’m ready now!” he said through a stream of tears. Elmer’s story took another amazing turn only a year later. 

Still Giving

Both Elmer and Roberta continue to honor their past and present and are now working together to open a transitional home for teens and young adults. 

The larger plans for the future include medical services, substance abuse classes, and many other vital programs. Where are they now?

A New Start

A two-family home has been purchased in the name of their outreach program. 

It will help 15 young people pull themselves out of poverty and finally have hope for a better future. Elmer’s pay-it-forward is not only unbelievable, it’s a testament to the depths of kindness people can have.