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She dropped a check for $10,000 - then a homeless man found it and gave her a call

New Haven homeless man Elmer Alvarez, left, and his friend found a lost $10,000 check and returned it to Roberta Hoskie, saying it was “the right thing to do.”
New Haven homeless man Elmer Alvarez, left, and his friend found a lost $10,000 check and returned it to Roberta Hoskie, saying it was “the right thing to do.”

Nearly everyone has gone through that moment of white-hot terror when they notice something valuable is missing - maybe a wallet or cell phone, left on a bus seat as it pulls away or slipped out of a jacket pocket while getting into the car.

Roberta Hoskie didn’t have to experience that feeling after she lost $10,000, because a homeless good Samaritan found the check and immediately gave her a call - all before she even knew it was missing.

“I don’t care what you say, there are so many good people in this world,” Hoskie, the president and CEO of Outreach Realty in New Haven, Conn., said in a Facebook Live video.

In the video, which begins right after she received a phone call from a man named Elmer, she films herself trying to meet up with the person who found the check. “God is good, I have to say that, because it could have been someone who wanted to do something fraudulent,” she says.

After a brief search, she eventually finds Elmer Alvarez and a friend, who gladly hand over the check - and say that they are homeless. “We’re out here doing the right thing, regardless,” the friend says, adding that Alvarez does not speak very good English.

Alvarez then smiles and breaks out into tears when Hoskie says she’ll write him a check as a reward. “I wanted to do the right thing,” Alvarez tells her, shaking her hand.

She asks the two men what made them decide to call about the check when others would not have.

“It’s just reality,” says the friend. “(Alvarez) believes in...above,” he adds.

“I hear the voice of God,” Alvarez says in Spanish. “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,” Alvaerez later told the New Haven Register.

Hoskie was in tears as she spoke to on Facebook about what kinds of things they could to help Alvarez, either by giving him supplies or to help get him off the streets for good.

She told the New Haven Register that she understood what he was going through, because she herself had been homeless before, but had then gone on to be the owner of several companies.

“I know it sounds so cliche, but you cannot judge a book by its cover,” Hoskie told the paper. “There need to be more people like Elmer.”

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