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5 months ago · by · 0 comments

Homeless Man Gets New Start After Returning Lost Check

In 2018, a homeless man found a check for $10k and his only thoughts were returning it to its rightful owner. Because of his good deed, he was rewarded with a chance at a whole new life. Elmer Alvarez had been living on the streets of New Haven, CT for several years battling addiction. The unexpected death of his brother from a heart attack spurred him into a dark spiral of addiction and crime.

Having finally kicked his addiction, he never considered keeping the check despite still living on the streets. Alvarez said “It never crossed my mind because I made a decision to turn my life over. I’d been clean for three years. I was just thinking about how that person was feeling by losing an amount of a check like that, an amount of money like that. I’d be feeling kind of desperate.” It turns out that the check belonged to real-estate broker Roberta Hoskie.

Luckily for Elmer, Roberta was full of compassion for his situation due to her own experience with homelessness as a teenage mother. “He didn’t know whose name was on the check, he didn’t know that at one point I was a single mother, I was at one point on welfare, and at one point found myself homeless” Hoskie said.

She offered him a reward for returning the check, which brought tears to Elmer’s eyes. Roberta also offered Elmer a place to live, paying his rent for seven months, and had him attend her real estate school for free. Hoskie said she was in awe of his actions. “There needs to be more people like Elmer Alvarez, he’s a golden heart guy, he’s a phenomenal guy.”

Years later, Alvarez is able to support himself as a realtor and is on the board of directors of Outreach Foundation, a non-profit Hoskie started to help with housing and resources for homeless teens and young adults. Hoskie also wrote a book- “Poverty Curse Broken: The Roberta Hoskie Story” with the hopes of inspiring others to break the poverty cycle.


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