A once homeless man from New Haven whose act of kindness went viral a year ago now has a new story to tell and a plan to pay it forward.
That man returned a lost $10,000 thousand check to a real estate agent.
Elmer Alvarez has since turned his life around with some help from the check’s owner.
“My vision is I said I want to make a difference,” Alvarez said.
Together, Alvarez and Hoskie are now planning to pay it forward.
“I expected to see someone in a suit and tie,” Roberta Hoskie said Wednesday morning, recalling when she learned someone picked up the check she dropped in downtown New Haven.
Instead in the meeting she shared on Facebook Live, Hoskie found out the Good Samaritan Alvarez was homeless.
“That really shattered a lot of stereotypes,” she said.
One year later, Alvarez is no longer homeless.
Hoskie provided Alvarez with housing and job training at her real estate school.
“I didn’t want to continue living the way I was,” he said.
Before running her real estate company, Hoskie was once a homeless high school dropout and a teenage mother.
“I have been very transparent with my story from poverty to prosperity, from welfare to wealth, from homeless to owning homes,” she said.
Alvarez sits on the Board of Directors for Hoskie’s Outreach Foundation, a non-profit organization.
“Together, we are working to create opportunities and solutions for people who are facing homelessness right now,” Hoskie said during a news conference.
They plan to rehabilitate a distressed New Haven property into transitional housing for 15 teens and young adults.
“I feel good, I feel great and I just want to keep helping others,” Alvarez said. “There was a purpose behind that check like Roberta says, I believe there’s more to it.”
Alvarez said he has the vision for the transitional home to offer services like help finding jobs and substance abuse treatment.