Homeless man given big surprise

Rewarded for his honesty


A homeless man who returned a lost cheque to its owner got a big surprise - a home, a job interview and training.

Estate agent Roberta Hoskie lost the cheque in New Haven, Connecticut but hadn't even realised until Elmer Alvarez contacted her to return it.

"I thought I might as well just do the right thing for the person and return the cheque," he says.

Ms Hoskie was planning to give him a small reward - until she discovered that he was homeless. She decided she'd like to do more to help, especially as she'd once been homeless herself.

So she offered him a free place at her real estate school, careers advice and a job interview with her business partners, along with transport and English language lessons.

Best of all, she offered him somewhere to live.

All Ms Hoskie has asked in return is that Mr Alvarez 'pay it forward' himself one day.

"When you get on your feet, you go ahead and you do it for the next person and the next person and the next person and the next person," she said - and Mr Alvarez agreed.

See also: Councils moving homeless with one-way train tickets

See also: Holiday Inn refused to let kind stranger pay for homeless woman's hotel room

Here in the UK, Shelter says that it received calls to its free helpline every 22 seconds during its busiest times last Christmas. It fears the situation could be worse this winter.

Generous gestures from members of the public aren't uncommon: two years ago, for example, Dundee student Anna Loudon raised more than £6,600 to help pay for somewhere for a homeless man to recover from open-heart surgery.

And soon after, three teenaged girls from Hartlepool were praised for spending their last £15 on food and a blanket for a local homeless man.

However, not everybody is so generous. This summer, a homeless mum was turned away from the Holiday Inn Express in Stockport, even though a kind-hearted stranger had tried to book and pay for a room for her.

The manager claimed it was because the woman had a history of antisocial behaviour.

Weird and funny hotel stories

Weird and funny hotel stories