NEW HAVEN -- Just before Thanksgiving last year, a New Haven realtor, who lost a $10,000 check, paid a homeless man handsomely for his honesty.
This Thanksgiving, the realtor and homeless man are both paying it forward.
"That really shattered a lot of stereotypes that people have about homeless people," said realtor Roberta Hoskie, whose lost $10,000 check had been returned by Elmer Alvarez, a man who was homeless for more than a year.
That encounter, in November of 2017, brought her life full circle. You see, Roberta Hoskie has also been homeless.
"I will never forget, I said never forget how far God has brought me," said Hoskie in a Wednesday press conference.
So, her Thanksgiving last year was to offer Alvarez, who is now a member of her real estate company’s Board of Directors, an apartment and other services, in addition to an opportunity to become a realtor himself.
And, he’s almost there.
"I’m waiting for my last test right now for my date so I can go and take my last and final test," Alvaez said.
Imagine, in just one year, Alvarez has gone from finding Hoskie's check in the road on Church St. tom partnering with Hoskie on new possibilities.
"It is his vision that God gave him when he was in shelters that is helping us shape what we are in the process of putting together right now," Hoskie said.
They are formulating a plan for a transitional home for homeless teens and young adults, which will include services that many shelters don’t have, including medical services on site.
Alvarez said, "We want to provide them with substance abuse classes. We want to education, employment opportunities, church services."
Hoskie‘s real estate company has purchased a two family home with a goal of assisting some 15 individuals initially.
"We need help in order for us to get this project to another level," said Alvarez.
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