Most of us would like to think that if we found money on the street, we’d do the right thing and turn it in.
When a poor man found a large sum of money that would change his life, he didn’t hesitate to do the right thing and give it back to its owner.
Elmer Alvarez was living on the streets in New Haven, Connecticut, when he found the $10,000 check.
Elmer had a hard life, so he could have done anything with that check. Instead, he gave it back to the person who was supposed to get it.
Because he was honest, he ended up on a path that would change his life for the better.
Roberta Hoskie, a real estate agent, had lost the check at a busy intersection and didn’t notice until the next day that it was gone.
Elmer said that when he found the check, the first thing that came to his mind was, “I have to find this person.”
He said he hadn’t thought about getting the money for himself.
“I never thought about it because I decided to change my life. Elmer told CBS News, “I’ve been clean for three years.”
Roberta was determined to find Elmer and thank him in person when she heard that the check had been returned.
She said, “I thought I’d find a nice guy with a clean shave and a blue suit.”
Instead, she got Elmer, who had a friend with him because his English wasn’t very good. That friend told Roberta that Elmer was homeless.
Roberta said, “It broke the stereotypes.”
Elmer cried when Roberta gave him a thank-you check.
Roberta put her meeting with Elmer on Facebook Live in order to bust some myths about homeless people.
There are many things that can make a person homeless, and Roberta knows this all too well. When she was a teen mom living in a shelter with her son, she only had $400 a month to take care of herself and her son.
Roberta worked her way out of poverty and now runs a multimillion-dollar real estate business that she owns.
In the year since they first met, Roberta has also helped Elmer in some way. She not only found him an apartment and paid his rent for 7 months, but she also paid for him to go to school for real estate so he can work for her company.
Now, the two plan to build a transitional house for homeless teens and young adults that will offer the kinds of services that Elmer said were important.
“I know what it’s like to live on the street. He said, “No one should have to live like that.”
Elmer gave back that check without thinking he would get anything in return. I’m so glad that people have seen the human side of people who have to live on the street, and that Elmer now has the life he deserves.
When you help someone, they will never forget, and they will often do the same for someone else, just like Roberta and Elmer are doing.