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From A Rough Patch To Manager
From A Rough Patch To Manager

Small business owner. We had a remodel done on our building, and had a lot of things to move around. Lots of furniture, supplies, etc. and on that particular day, two employees had to be away for a funeral of a mutual friend of theirs. Across from my location, and a bit down the street is a Wendy's. You have to pass it to get to my business from the main highway. Saw a man in front of their lot saying basically 'Will work for food.' He looked like a young, fairly healthy person and I decided to stop. We were down two people and really needed to get things done, and something just got me to go ahead and stop and chat a moment. Turns out he had an unfortunate set of circumstances unfold for him, for privacy's sake won't get into them but he was homeless by no choice of his own, had a lot of family problems. He was only 18, and I offered to buy him lunch, and dinner, if he'd come help us out. He got in my truck after we ate and chatted a bit. We went to my business, and not only did he work, he worked his ass off. Honestly I have a good staff, and he did more than they were doing. I was impressed, and that night not only did I offer him dinner but a job too. Had to help him a few places along the way. He had nowhere to shower, no change for laundry, and I helped him out but by his 3rd week he was doing great. Fast forward 4 years and he is one of my most trusted managers, still my hardest worker. A year and a half ago he got married, they have a new baby girl. I interviewed I don't know how many people over the years and I'd have never found someone like him. Ordinarily I wouldn't have stopped, but I am glad I did. Sometimes, these people genuinely just need a hand, and not only will they take full advantage, they'll make something of themselves. Some people just have a rough patch and are not looking for handouts they're just looking for someone to help them get up and walk again. (Source)

Tayvon
Tayvon

"We've hired hundreds of them over the last 20 years mainly because I'm lazy and I can make more money with my time doing what I do. The only really memorable one was Tayvon. Tayvon stopped me in our parking lot one Friday morning and said he needed some work and he was willing to do whatever we had. Just the day before I'd gotten a notice from the city saying the bamboo on our backlot was getting out of hand and we needed to get rid of it. It's a little over an acre and if you've ever seen how bamboo grows there were THOUSANDS of 20' stalks. Told him I'd give him $100 to do it. Gave him a machete and figured I'd never see him or the machete again. Over the course of the day he cut every damn piece of the bamboo down and had them laid in a couple of huge piles. Paid him his money, thanked him, and told him I'd get my guys to haul it to the dump Monday. He asked me if he could have the big pieces first and I gladly let him. Came back in Monday morning and he was back in the lot helping somebody load a monster sized load of bamboo onto a trailer. He'd spent the weekend cutting all the branches off and trimming it into 6' long sections and was selling them all for $350 to a local plant nursery he'd done day labor work for in the past. We talked about it for a few minutes after the truck left and he just kept smiling and saying there was a hustle in everything, you just had to find it." (Source)

Mike
Mike

"There was a homeless guy who my dad would always see walk by his store. My dad would always give him food or whatever he would need. I remember one year on Christmas Day my dad and I went out to find the guy, Mike, and give him a Christmas gift. This went on for a couple years. One year my dad needed a sign guy to hold a sign on the street corner. He found Mike and gave him the job. He was a good employee, always on time. He worked for us for a couple years and my dad slowly leaned more about Mike. He was a skilled A/C repairman and had a series of bad events that ended up making him homeless. After working for my dad for a year or two my dad found out that one of his friends who managed a nearby apartment complex needed a repairman to take care of the A/C and other jobs. My dad got Mike job and part of his pay was getting a room in the apartment complex! This was probably 5 or years ago and I haven't heard anything else about Mike recently but last I heard he was doing a great job." (Source)

Alton
Alton

"My parents have a house in Florida they rent out. My dad was down there doing repairs to it when a homeless man on a bike stopped by and asked if my dad needed help. Dad decided to hire him. Alton (the homeless man) helped my dad repaint the house, mow the lawn, and cut out all the overgrown plants. When the house wasn't rented and my family was up north, my dad paid Alton to mow the yard and keep an eye on the place. While working with my dad, Alton asked Dad if he could borrow some money to buy some nice pants and shoes for an interview he had for a job. Dad wasn't sure he could trust him yet so Instead my dad took him out to a store and they went shopping together for these items. Alton got the job as a chef and eventually got himself a room in a house with some other guys. Occasionally, Alton will ask my dad for some emergency money and he always finds a way to pay it back. I find it interesting that my dad was so open to work with Alton due to him being both black and poor, those being two types of people my dad can say judgmental things about. Either way I'm glad it all worked out for Alton." (Source)

Jimmy John's
Jimmy John's

"I worked at a Jimmy John's on a college campus that was open until 2am with the bars (plenty of drunk assheads came in during those last hours). One of my managers was formerly homeless, but had gotten off the street and eventually worked his way to that position. So, like clockwork, every night after we closed our doors, between 2 and 4 homeless people would come in and help us do our closing work. Typically the work would take 2 hours to complete, but with team homeless it took about half an hour. Then we would all make sandwiches and eat them. That was their only payout (I'm pretty sure my manager would give them a little cash time to time out of his own pocket). I met a lot of awesome homeless people during this time. Definitely changed how I treat people. I think it's far too easy to further dehumanize an already marginalized population." (Source)

Hardee's
Hardee's

I was a shift leader at a Hardee's (Carls Jr for you west coast people) and it was perfectly located near where the homeless and all the skate kids hung out at. Both groups used to come in and harass everyone before I became a shift leader. Once I got to that point, instead of yelling and kicking them out I decided to sit them down and ask whats going on. Come to find out, many of those teenagers and kids where either living in abusive homes or even homeless. I got the idea to keep the food people mess up, and even using my manager meal to feed these poor kids while I could. I became real close with many of them, and too this day keep up on all of them. One in particular used to be in and out of jail, a lot, I promised him every time he comes out I'll buy his first real food. Well after a while, I moved jobs and got him a job where I worked at, few months later, helping him out with what i could, he got a place, his girlfriend (who was pregnant at the time) moved in and they are doing great and their baby is adorable. Being able to help and understand so many of those kids now really changed my view on so many kids and why they act the way that they do. (Source)

Flipping Houses
Flipping Houses

"When I was younger I would help my father flip foreclosed houses. Often the places were either gutted or left looking like a home featured on that Hoarders show. Aside from hiring guys outside of Home Depot for basic skilled jobs, we would usually pick up one or two 'will work for food' guys for some manual labor. He usually would ask if they wanted a free lunch to do some tasks, get them lunch and ask if they wanted to keep working. If they chose to stay the rest of the day he would pay them out for their work (usually $10 a hour). He wouldn't tell them about it up front, but once they got the 80-100 bucks at the end of the day they were grateful and asking what else they could do. A couple guys wound up working with us over the years on multiple houses. These were generally the guys who wound up doing better in life and moving from the street to getting back into an apartment. It was a humbling experience getting to know these guys growing up as I was a privileged kid and helped shape me into not becoming a pretentious f*ck. A lot of those guys would work harder than the hired help in the yellow pages." (Source)

All It Takes Is A Chance
All It Takes Is A Chance

I work at a McDonald's in Minnesota, and we get quite a few homeless people in the dead of night as we're open 24 hrs. A few months ago I was working a streak of overnight shifts to cover for a sick manager, and noticed that we had this nice older lady that seemed to be there every day. After a while I put two and two together and realized that she had no where else to go. So I offered her a little deal. If she would help me out with cleaning our lobby and Play Place, I would give her a free meal and a coupon for a sandwich. Never have I seen someone so dedicated to a task as she was. She was all smiles and pleasant, always doing her best to impress me, and it worked. I talked to our store manager and she agreed to hire her. I got to be the one to offer her the job. I'm never going to forget the night I told her, she just looked at me and cried. She'd been homeless for over 3 years and no one ever took a chance to even know her, let alone offer her any sort of job. She isn't my employee anymore, she's my coworker. After a month, she was able to buy an apartment and really get her stuff together. After that she has dedicated all she has to pay us back for our kindness, even though she knows she doesn't have to. If you're ever in the position to do something, do it. You could change a person's life in ways you couldn't imagine. (Source)

A New Lease On Life
A New Lease On Life

"I hired one to rake the yard. He was hungry and very much in need. Must say ... he did a thorough job. After, I took him to buy food and introduced him to a local lawn service manager. They hired him, and he's been nothing buy truly grateful ever since. It may not always have a 'happy ending' like this, but I'm thankful I could help him get a new lease on life and have a future." (Source)

An Awesome Line Cook
An Awesome Line Cook

"I worked at a Steak-n-Shake as a waitress on the graveyard shift throughout college. Weirdest f*cking place I ever worked - it was right off the interstate and we got the strangest people in around 3am every night. Anyway, my manager was a really nice guy and one day saw a homeless lady crying outside. She said she had ridden her bike for like 10 miles to get to an interview at the hotel next door, and when the hotel manager realized she was homeless he basically told her to GTFO and didn't even bother interviewing her. She was so distressed that she just sat down and cried, and my manager saw her while he was taking out the garbage and asked if she was okay. After hearing her story he hired her as a cook, and she was seriously the hardest working person we had in the entire restaurant. She would take any shift and was never late, and never complained. She was pretty rough around the edges and missing most of her teeth, and I don't know if she could have actually had a job where she had to interact one-on-one with the customers ... but I'll be damned if she wasn't an awesome line cook. I left that job shortly thereafter (again, weirdest place I ever worked) so I don't know what happened to her. I hope she saved up enough to be able to afford housing, because she was really trying to turn her life around." (Source)

KFC
KFC

"My dad used to manage a KFC. He told me he used to give the leftover chicken and biscuits (Ya'll, KFC throws away TONS of food when it closes) to a homeless dude that was always in and out throughout the day. He said the dude always cleaned his dumpsters for him because he was so grateful. One day, there was a string of burglaries by night staff at the local restaurants in the shopping center and one of my dads employees got held at gunpoint. The homeless dude showed up and scared the burglars away, saved her from them and saved my dad a TON of money." (Source)

A Positive Experience
A Positive Experience

"I hired a homeless guy to help me load furniture into my moving van after my friend flaked on helping me. He was a regular panhandler who worked a corner two blocks from my apartment. He was always polite and would always apologize if he asked for change before recognizing who I was. He did an outstanding job. I ordered him a pizza, let him take a shower and gave him $100. He gave me his favorite book to read because he thought I would enjoy it. It was overall a very positive experience." (Source)

A Merry Christmas
A Merry Christmas

"One super cold night over Christmas break a couple years back, my roommates and I were walking to taco bell and saw a homeless man laying in the parking lot. He had a cheap, thin blanket, so we bought him some food and asked him if he wanted to spend the night inside and he came back and stayed at our house. Via Facebook, we helped him find his daughter who he hadn't spoken to in a couple years, and he was able to wish her a merry christmas. I spent the night worrying that he would steal everything in the house. When I woke up, the blankets were neatly folded up and he had left us two pairs of socks and some deodorant. A week later, we came home to find that someone had raked all of our leaves for us. Haven't seen him since, but I hope he is well." (Source)

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