Homeless man finds $10,000 check on the ground, returns it to owner
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (KTVU) - Roberta Hoskie says she believes that all things work together for good. And that belief was reinforced last Wednesday when she received a call saying a $10,000 check had been found with her name on it.
The check was in an envelope, and it was discovered on the ground by Elmer Alvarez.
The 43-year-old Alvarez is homeless and because of his limited English, he had to asked a friend to call the number on the check to help locate the rightful owner.
Hoskie said she didn't even realize that she had lost the envelope until she received Alvarez's call.
She was so moved by his kindness and thoughtful act, she set up a meeting with the man to personally show him her appreciation.
It would be a very emotional meeting.
In a video on Facebook, Hoskie is seen walking up to Alvarez who instantly tears up.
She has a check in hand for an undisclosed amount, made out to him.
"I don't even know who you are, but I thank God for you," she tells him.
When Hoskie asks Alvarez what he does for a living, he responds, "Trying to get my life back together."
That prompted a promise from Hoskie who says that she would help him do just that.
"He had no idea about my connections," Hoskie told KTVU. "I was moved and know this is my duty."
Hoskie tells Alvarez that she runs a real estate school and that she wants to offer him a scholarship to train him in the field for free.
"I'm gonna teach you how to fish. That's what I'm going to do!" she exclaims.
The real estate agent also reveals something else-- that she too was once homeless. She says she's walked in Alvarez's shoes and assures him that things can turn around.
"When I tell you that your situation is temporary, I'm not just talking to be talking," she says which brings more tears Alvarez's eyes.
When asked why she decided to post this meeting on Facebook, Hoskie said she wanted to let others know about how one man went out of his way to help a complete stranger.
"I think that there's a lot of negativity but there's still a lot of good people... There is hope for what is perceived to be a hopeless world," she said.
She also noted that it's extremely important that she uses her current situation to help others who are enduring hardships.
"I'm very passionate about not forgetting where I came from and for being an instrument of change," she said.
And the wheels of change have already begun turning in Alvarez's life.
Hoskie has been working with community partners to find ways to help her new friend.
The two are set to meet again on Wednesday to discuss programs for him, including one to help sharpen his English skills.
Hoskie said that she does not feel it was a coincidence that Alvarez came into her life.
She added that she would be sure to make this not-so-chance meeting with a complete stranger an opportunity to do her part and make a difference in someone's life.