Homeless Man Finds $10K Check and Turns It In, Owner Repays Him with a Home

When Elmer Alvarez found a check for more than $10,000, he didn’t plan to be rewarded for simply doing the right thing and returning it to its owner. However, what happened would be something that changed his life forever. He had no idea that his simple act of honesty would have such a profound effect on his life. The fact is, homelessness is a global problem that has far-reaching implications, especially in a country like the U.S. where so many people have plenty. To be homeless in some places is even illegal as many states pass laws against being in one place for too long. In other places, the municipalities and local governments do everything they can to keep homeless people from being comfortable.

To make matters worse, solutions to the problem are scarce. There are organizations that try to help, but the need is greater than the capacity for these organizations to fix the problem. In Elmer’s case, the heartwarming story begins somewhat unusually. Roberta Hoskie is a real estate agent who had a check for nearly $11,000 in her hand and it slipped through her fingers near a crowded intersection. As she ran around town running errands, the noise of the traffic and the hustle and bustle of her city, New Haven, Connecticut, distracted her. The city is a busy place and she didn’t even know she had lost the check until the following day.

Roberta could have easily requested that the check be canceled, but that’s a hassle and potentially embarrassing to tell a client that you misplaced their $10K check. No real estate agent (or anyone else, for that matter) wants to ever be in such a position. However, before Roberta could even wrap her mind around trying to deal with the problem, her phone rang. It was Elmer Alvarez on the phone and he had news that Roberta wanted to hear. Elmer had found the check that Roberta had lost and wanted to get it back into her hands.

When Roberta went to meet Elmer, she was shocked when she discovered that he was homeless. She wanted to give him a reward for his kindness, so she gave him some reward money. However, finding out he was homeless made her want to do more. She wanted to do something that could profoundly impact his life, so she set him up with housing. Part of this was prompted by her faith in God, she said, and partly because she just wanted to do the right thing. However, there was more to the story. As a young person and a single mom, Roberta experienced homelessness.

But getting Elmer housing was only part of what she did. Roberta worked with Elmer to get him into a job training program at her school and he took a real estate test. When Elmer found out that Roberta had found him a place to live, he broke down in tears. The two of them are working together to open transitional housing for homeless young adults and teens. Watch their touching story .