Homeless Man Returns Check For $10,000 To Its Rightful Owner & She Decides To Change His Life

Acts of kindness, like returning a lost check, promote empathy and positive change and have a domino effect on society.

homeless man, money, acts of kindness AnnaStills / Shutterstock 

When a homeless man found a check for $10,000, he decided to return it to its rightful owner instead of keeping it for himself. Upon having her check returned and learning about the kind man’s backstory, the woman knew she had to do everything in her power to return the favor. 

The homeless man returned a lost check for $10,000 that belonged to a real estate broker. 

When Elmer Alvarez, a homeless man from New Haven, Connecticut, discovered the check without an owner around to claim it, his first thought was, “I got to look for this person,” he told CBS News. It never even crossed his mind to cash the money for himself.


“I made a decision to turn my life over,” Alvarez said. “I've been clean for three years.”

It also worried him thinking about the poor person who must have been horrified after misplacing $10,000. 

The check belonged to Roberta Hoskie, a real-estate broker in Connecticut. After Alvarez was thankfully able to track her down, the two arranged a virtual meeting. Hoskie admitted that she was not expecting to discover someone like Alvarez would be selfless enough to return the money given his difficult situation. 

"I expected to find a guy all nice, clean shaven and blue suit like you," she told the CBS reporter. 


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Upon meeting Alvarez, Hoskie was determined to get him off the streets. 

Roskie bought Alvarez an apartment and covered the first seven months' rent. After the first seven months, Hoskie helped Alvarez through real estate school so he could support himself with a job. 

Alvarez could not help but let the tears of gratitude flow at Hoskie’s kind gesture. The two ended up combining forces and collaborating on a very important project that would help other people who were in Alvarez’s position. The pair plan on building a transitional house that provides aid and services for homeless teens and adults. 

"I know what it is to be homeless. Nobody deserves to live like that," Alvarez said. 


When Alvarez returned the check to Hoskie, he had no idea that she was also once in his shoes. 

She was a homeless teenage mother seeking refuge in a shelter before getting on her feet. 

“He had no idea who the person was behind the check,” Hoskie told WTNH. “He didn’t know that I was a single mother. I at one point was on welfare. At one point I found myself homeless.” 

Hoskie praised Alavarez’s kindness even at his most vulnerable, insisting that the world needed more people like him. 

As for Alvarez, he claims that seeing Hoskie’s happiness upon receiving her check back was much better than getting to keep $10,000. 


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Lending a helping hand to the homeless not only benefits them individually but also society as a whole. 

According to The Department of Housing and Urban Development, around 582,000 people experienced homelessness in America in 2022, all of whom could use the help that Hoskie gave Alvarez. 

 Homeless Man Returns Check For $10,000 To Its Rightful Owner & She Decides To Change His LifePhoto: Timur Weber / Pexels 


Reducing homelessness can lead to cost savings in areas like healthcare, emergency services and criminal justice, benefiting both taxpayers and local governments. It can also decrease crime in certain areas, foster social inclusion and improve the quality of life for many civilians who once believed that all hope was diminished. 

Acts of kindness have a domino effect. A simple yet powerful gesture, like returning a lost check, can make the world a better place by promoting kindness, empathy and positive change. 

In the meantime, if you want to help the homeless, you can donate food and clothing to local shelters, participate in neighborhood cleanups, advocate for affordable healthcare and provide hygiene kits. 


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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.