Elmer Alvarez

Elmer Alvarez

Realtor Roberta Hoskie lost a ten thousand dollars check that had been returned by Elmer Alvarez, a man who was homeless for more than a year. She rewarded him with a place to live.

share Share

While Connecticut might be the sixth richest state in America, Elmer Alvarez will tell you that it’s not all glitz and glamour. Homeless for years in the city of New Haven, Alvarez battled drug addiction, mental illness and relied on crime to get by.

One day while roaming the streets of downtown New Haven, Alvarez made a shocking discovery on the floor: A check for a cool $10,000. Although it was more zeros than he’d ever seen, Alvarez told CBS that he passed up the easy payday and instead searched for the payee.

“I was just thinking about how that person was feeling by losing an amount of a check like that, an amount of money like that,” Alvarez told. “I’d be feeling kind of desperate.” It turns out that the check belonged to real-estate broker Roberta Hoskie. Although Alvarez wasn’t the clean-cut person she envisioned, Hoskie says their lives share much in common. “He didn’t know whose name was on the check, he didn’t know that at one point I was a single mother, I was at one point on welfare, and one point found myself homeless.”

Hoskie recorded her meeting with Alvarez as she presented him with a cash reward. However, she didn’t stop there. Hoskie found Alvarez a place to live and paid his rent for seven months to help him get back on his feet. She also put him through real estate school and they’re currently working on a project together. They plan to build a transition house for homeless teenagers and adults, with Alvarez serving as an advisor.

William Shockley

William Shockley, who won the 1956 Nobel in physics for inventing the transistor, was excluded as a child from a long-term study of genius because of his I.Q. the score wasn't high enough.

Read More
Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo spent much of her life in bed suffering from severe pain. Even so, she became one of the most famous artists of all time and an icon of the twentieth century.

Read More
Beethoven's Greatest Works

By 1820, when he was almost deaf, Beethoven composed his greatest works.

Read More
John Nash

John Nash, an American mathematician whose life, marked by acute paranoid schizophrenia, fought against his disease and developed a successful academic career that earned him the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1994.

Read More