‘So many re­ally good peo­ple in this world’

Home­less good Sa­mar­i­tan re­turns lost $10K check to busi­ness­woman

New Haven Register (New Haven, CT) - - FRONT PAGE - By Este­ban L. Her­nan­dez

NEW HAVEN — Some­where along a short path around the corner of Tem­ple and Chapel streets, Roberta Hoskie lost a $10,000 check.

And some­where along that same path, Elmer Al­varez found the check — and promptly re­turned it.

“I thought I had it with my stuff in my car,” Hoskie, pres­i­dent and CEO of Outreach Re­alty Ser­vices, said Thurs­day. “I must have had it and it slipped.”

Hoskie lost the check Wed­nes­day morn­ing. Without re­al­iz­ing she had lost it, she got a phone call the same morn­ing informing her a check made payable to her had been found. She stepped out to Tem­ple Street to find and meet Al­varez a short time later. While do­ing so, Al­varez’s friend told Hoskie that Al­varez is cur­rently home­less.

The scene un­folded in a Face­book live video posted by Hoskie Wed­nes­day. The video de­tails the

story while search­ing for Al­varez and strate­giz­ing how to help him mov­ing for­ward. The 22-minute record­ing had more than 13,000 views by Thurs­day af­ter­noon.

“I don’t care what you say. There are so many re­ally good peo­ple in this world,” Hoskie said as the video be­gins. “I don’t know who this guy is. But I dropped my check and he called — I didn’t even know I dropped this check — and he called me.”

Al­varez said he wanted “to do the right thing.”

“First of all, I be­lieve in God,” Al­varez said Thurs­day. “My faith is what keeps me go­ing through . ... I al­ways be­lieve that once you do right, right al­ways comes back to you. Be­cause God don’t like ugly.”

Al­varez broke down in tears after Hoskie pre­sented him with an­other check. He said he’s hop­ing to get his life back to­gether and is cur­rently look­ing for a job. He said Thurs­day he placed him­self in the po­si­tion of the per­son who lost the check. He said he told his friend that he needed to find the per­son after find­ing the check.

“He’s a good per­son. He talked to me and said, ‘that’s the right thing,’” Al­varez’s friend said in the video.

Be­fore be­com­ing a lo­cal real es­tate agent , creat­ing her own busi­ness, es­tab­lish­ing sem­i­nars and busi­nesses classes, Hoskie was an­other per­son strug­gling.

She, too, was once home­less, liv­ing in the Dou­glas House Shel­ter in New Haven.

“To come from a place of be­ing home­less to own­ing mul­ti­ple com­pa­nies, I rep­re­sent some­thing dif­fer­ent,” Hoskie said

Hoskie, who was de­scribed by many New Haven res­i­dents as an in­spi­ra­tion, was the New Haven Reg­is­ter’s Per­son of the Year in 2015.

Hoskie said she is of­fer­ing Al­varez free classes at her real es­tate school. Yet, even her own kind gesture ex­posed the “prej­u­dice” Hoskie said home­less peo­ple face ev­ery day: The bank Al­varez vis­ited to cash his check has­sled him.

“That’s un­fair. He had a check, he had a sig­na­ture — he had a li­cense,” Hoskie said.

The out­pour­ing of sup­port has over­whelmed Hoskie’s Face­book page, which was in­un­dated with sug­ges­tions for how to help Al­varez.

She said she even got calls from peo­ple as far as Cal­i­for­nia and Texas seek­ing to help. She said any­one in­ter­ested in help­ing Al­varez can reach her at rhoskie@out­reachre­al­ty­ser­vices.com.

She plans to keep in con­tact with him and help­ing him­move for­ward to “teach him how to fish.” Al­varez said he will try to take ad­van­tage of the “bless­ing” he said he’s re­ceived from Hoskie’s help­ing hand.

“I know it sounds so cliche, but you can­not judge a book by its cover,” Hoskie said, adding: “There needs to be more peo­ple like Elmer.”

Este­ban L. Her­nan­dez / Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia

From left, Elmer Al­varez, Roberta Hoskie and Hec­tor Colon on Tem­ple Street after meet­ing to re­turn a lost check in New Haven. Hoskie is hold­ing a phone in her right hand as she broad­cast the meet­ing to Face­book.

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