Instead of turning away a homeless man who asked for help, a Minneapolis restaurant owner offered him a chance to work.
Celia Abigail Baires said that Marcus, who was living on the street in Minneapolis, walked into her restaurant El Salvadorean one day and asked her for money, New York Daily News reported.
“I was really, really tired. I told him I don’t have the money,” 25-year-old Baires said. The woman then thought of another way she could help Marcus while getting help at her restaurant.
“‘But I have a job for you, if you really want to work,'” Baires 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.”
Baires 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,” Baires said.
After she offered him a chance to work, she said Marcus was ecstatic. 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, Baires gave him a sandwich. According to Baires, Marcus ate part of the sandwich 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 Baires 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,” Baires 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.”
Baires subsequently set up a crowdfunding page for Marcus, whose eventual goal is to find a place to live.
“Just like Marcus, I had my help,” Baires 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.”