Homeless Man Finds Something On The Street That Changes His Fortune Forever

A dollar bill, a forgotten glove, a losing lottery ticket — most of the stuff we find on the sidewalk amounts to nothing. But in the back of our minds, when we spot that little scrap of paper in the middle of the street, butterflies kick in ’cause we’re hoping for that Charlie Bucket golden ticket twist of fate that will change life as we know it.
A homeless man who lived on the streets of New Haven, Connecticut, felt completely stuck in a pattern of poverty. But one morning, he found something that made him choose between doing the right thing and snatching his own proverbial golden ticket. His choice started a chain reaction he never saw coming!
Winters in New England are hard for most people. No one likes having to contend with the notoriously brutal conditions — especially not a guy like Elmer Alvarez.
See, Elmer was homeless. The freezing winds and the snow piles that accumulate faster than snowplows can keep sweep ’em away were more dangerous to him than a guy in a heated home, car, and office.
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Still, he already had several winters in New Haven under his belt, so he understood the difficulties of the months ahead. Times had been worse for Elmer, despite his current situation. 
Drug addiction had led Elmer down a difficult path. Even though he didn’t have a stable place to rest his head each night, he managed to kick his addictions by attending NA meetings. Talk about beating the odds! 
Unfortunately, finding a way out of being homeless constantly tormented him; getting yourself off the streets is much easier said than done. But pacing the familiar streets on one chilly November morning, Elmer walked right up to an opportunity…
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Right in the center of the path was a bit a paper. Most people walking by wouldn’t give the scrap a second glance, but Elmer stopped and examined the forgotten note.
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It wasn’t a discarded receipt or a bit of trash: the paper was a freshly signed check. Air whooshed from his lungs when his eyes landed on the amount written on the line…
The amount of the check was a stunning $10,000. With it endorsed and ready to go, Elmer could’ve transformed his life with that kind of cheddar! No one was around, nothing was stopping him from running to the nearest bank.
But taking the money never crossed Elmer’s mind, not for a second. He turned the check over and, low and behold, a phone number was in fact listed on the back. 
Elmer walked the streets until he finally managed to track down a friend with a cellphone. As a Spanish speaker, he had his friend make the call to the check’s addressee. 
Stefano Santucci / Flickr
At the same time, in an office a few blocks away, a prominent businesswoman heard her phone ring. Roberta Hoskie, a self-made real estate magnate, was CEO and President of both Outreach Realty Services and Outreach School of Real Estate. She answered the call.
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On the other line, Elmer’s friend explained that his friend found her substantial check and wanted to return it to her. Roberta was floored. Had she really lost something so important? 
She rifled through her bag, not believing it was possible, only to quickly realize he was right. Shocked that someone was kind enough to reach out, she agreed to meet him immediately.
 Once on the street, Roberta opened Facebook Live to document the resolution of the stranger’s good deed. She spotted Elmer and his friend, and couldn’t thank them enough for doing the right thing. 
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With Elmer too polite to draw attention to himself, his friend let Roberta know her savior was, in fact, homeless. This struck a chord with Roberta on a personal level that made the events all the more meaningful… 
See, before she was a high-powered real estate queen, Roberta faced similar obstacles to Elmer’s. At 17 years old, Roberta was pregnant. To care for her child she had to drop out of school.
She’d been a financially difficult place to begin with, but now, with another mouth to feed, she and her child had no choice but to enter housing shelters to avoid living on the streets.
But thanks to a crucial internship at Yale University that catapulted her life out of debilitating poverty, Roberta was able to break out of the cycle — but she never forgot her time in the shelters. 
Oncampus.ru / Flickr
It was because of her past that she knew that her run in with Elmer was not a coincidence. She resolved to take the opportunity to pay it forward, in a big way. 
  Telling Elmer to wait right there, she hurried back to her office to get her checkbook. She wanted to do more for Elmer than just give him some temporary reprieve.
While brainstorming on Facebook live, a suggestion from a follower gave her the idea. Roberta smiled and vowed, “I’m going to teach him how to fish.”
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Back on the street, Roberta handed over a check, this one addressed to Elmer, and he burst into grateful tears. The pair hugged, and Roberta shared her own story with him. 
Elmer couldn’t believe just how much they had in common. Their newfound connection fresh in their hearts, they parted ways. That’s when Roberta put her plans into motion.
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But prejudice reunited them faster than Roberta expected. When Elmer went to cash his check, even with a signature and his ID, shockingly, the bank refused to help him. 
They suspected it was fraudulent, just because Elmer wasn’t their typical customer. A quick call to Roberta eased their unwarranted suspicion about the homeless man. 
Two weeks later, Roberta arranged a meeting with Elmer. Thanks to her Facebook video, over 13,000 people heard about Elmer’s good deed, and it piqued the interest of the news media. 
When Elmer walked in the door, he was greeted with applause by a packed room. He was totally overwhelmed. This wasn’t what he expected when he agreed to meet! Crazier still, things were about to get even more surprising for him…
Roberta Hoskie / Facebook
First, Elmer was presented with a thank you certificate from Ms. Millionaire Mindset, an organization aimed at combating poverty. Next, Roberta laid out her true plan to “teach Elmer to fish.”
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 Instead of just paying him for his kindness and honesty, Roberta was going to teach him how to set himself up for success. Elmer was going to be given classes at her real estate school, at no cost to him.
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Before classes started, Elmer would be taught to improve his English skills. But Roberta had another even bigger surprise. Emotion strained her voice while she explained the best part of her plan. 
Roberta told him she’d found him a place to live, an apartment he could share with his girlfriend, with the first 6 months of rent and bills completely covered in full!
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 Emotions spilled over. Elmer wrapped Roberta in a hug that said everything he couldn’t. Tears streaked his face, and the relief that he wouldn’t face another night on the streets washed over him.
Kiwi Report
But Roberta thought of everything, even beyond the 6-month gift. After taking the real estate classes, Elmer was set up with a standing job interview at her colleague’s real estate office. 
Once he felt prepared, he could tackle the interview. So thrilled with gratitude, he burst out, “I’m ready now!” But granting all Elmer’s dreams wasn’t Roberta’s goal. She wanted to truly pay it forward…
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So, a few weeks later, they met up to see how he was progressing with his real estate classes. With her followers watching live, it was Elmer’s turn to deliver some good news.
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Waiting to reveal the results of his real estate exam together, Roberta flipped the cover and beamed. Elmer had passed the test! Now just one test remained between him and an endless path of opportunity.
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Public interest in Elmer and Roberta’s inspirational friendship continued to grow. In December, Spanish language television station Telemundo invited the duo on a show to share their unique story.
Telemundo
Elmer revealed that the catalyst was the sudden death of his 33-year-old brother. Tortured by grief, Elmer fell into a life addiction and crime. All in all, he served 5 stints in jail, and in turn, lost contact with the rest of his family…
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…Until the host told him to turn around. Standing on the stage were Elmer’s two sisters! Viewers watched live as the family rejoiced in their emotional reunion. Roberta, who had been communicating via a translator, wept!
Telemundo
Right when his heart rate stabilized from the big reveal, there came another jolt. After years of not seeing each other, Elmer’s mother walked out on to the stage. It was all too much for everyone’s tear ducts.
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Elmer’s simple choice to do the right thing put a set of wheels into motion. A slew of once-in-a-lifetime opportunities presented themselves to Elmer, and Roberta fulfilled her mission to help end the cycle of poverty.
Roberta Hoskie / Instagram
In a few months’ time, Elmer aced his final real estate exam and Roberta put him on the Board of Directors of her company. Motivated, determined not to squander his gifts, Elmer joined the ranks of the National Association of Realtors.
Friends joined by a bizarre twist of fate, Roberta and Elmer focused their energies on a project — with their non-profit, Outreach Foundation — to help other homeless individuals. 
Their goal was to acquire dilapidated properties and flip them into transitional homes that offer services beyond the average shelter for the homeless. It would grant people the same shot Elmer was given. 

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