A restaurant owner from Minnesota offered a homeless man who asked for help a chance to work instead of turning away.
Homeless man named Marcus was living on the street in Minneapolis, he walked into Celia Abigail Baires restaurant El Salvadorean and ask for money, NY Daily News reported.
“I was really, really tired. I told him I don’t have the money,” 25-year-old Celia said. Celia then thought of another way she could help Marcus by offering a job at her restaurant.
“‘But I have a job for you, if you really want to work,’” Celia reportedly told Marcus. She offered him a two hour shift, taking out the trash and washing dishes. “That made his face so happy. I didn’t think I would get that reaction from him.”
Celia said that she’d seen Marcus before, “going up and down on Main Street like a lot of other homeless people.” She added that she “felt a connection” with Marcus as he walked into the store before she offered him a job.
“I told him nothing is given for free here. Even my family pays when they come in here,” Celia said.
After she offered him a chance to work, she said Marcus was delighted. He said that he’d tried to find work before, but wasn’t able to get a job because of a criminal record. While living on the streets, Marcus resorted to stealing and panhandling in order to survive, Little Things reported.
After Marcus completed his two-hour shift of work, Celia gave him a sandwich — which she said he ate part of, and saved the rest for a friend from the street.
“He told me, ‘I know she’s hungry,’” she said.
Marcus continued to come to El Salvadorean to offer to work, and on days when Celia was short-staffed, she gave him a shift.
“A lot of people are saying I’ve been a blessing for him, but at that point I was the one who needed a blessing,” Celia told CBS News. She said that on the day Marcus came in, she was struggling with her business.
“I was the one ready to give up my goals,” she admitted. “He has been a blessing for me and my business.”
Celia subsequently set up a crowdfunding page for Marcus, whose goal is to find a place to live.
“Just like Marcus, I had my help,” Celia said. “I had plenty of people to help make it to where I am today. They believed I could do it. People need to have someone believe in them.”