Sometimes, an empty gas tank can actually be a good thing. As reported by FOX 31 KDVR, Denver real estate broker Joe Manzanares recently drove by Chris Rezac, a homeless man who was holding up a sign that read: "I'm cold. I'm homeless. I'm hungry. Spare Anything."
One month later, Rezac has a steady income and a new sign that reads: "No need for your cash! I'm sponsored by Joe Manzanares."
When reached by phone for an interview, Manzanares, who works for RE/MAX, said he had loaned his car to his son the day he saw Rezac. After retrieving his vehicle, Manzanares ran out of gas right by the Denver corner where Rezac stood.
"I know Chris is there every day," he explained. "I said, 'Hey, can you help me push my car across the street?' So he did. I went home, picked up 15 bucks, went to a restaurant, and picked him up a burrito and said, 'Thanks.'"
The realtor also took time to sit down and speak with Rezac, who said he makes approximately $20-25 dollars a day on the corner.
"I drive a lot because I sell real estate. I see these guys often, and you just never know their stories," Manzanares said. "I just wanted to give it a shot and see if I could help somebody out. He was standing there anyway, and I said, 'Why don't I just give you your money and you spin my board around?'"
For the realtor, it wasn't a matter of hiring cheap labor, though. He found out that Rezac was a longtime welder who went through a divorce. Rezac also had been a volunteer firefighter who helped put out a Denver-area fire a few years back
"He pretty much lost everything, including his will to live. He lost his little girl, and it just spiraled," Manzanares said.
The realtor also pointed out that Rezac now makes more than $25 a day: "I thought it would be good for a small business to adopt somebody, adopt a homeless person and take them through the whole process. They just don't think anyone cares; they are getting yelled at and cussed at, spit at sometimes."
This coming Monday, Manzanares has an appointment to take Rezac to get his resume written up and by the end of the week, Rezac should have a phone: "Right now, he has a warm place to stay every night, which is cool. He's right in my neighborhood, so every day, I stop and make sure he's OK or if he's hungry or he's cold."
On Christmas Eve, the realtor bought Rezac some new clothes and boots and treated him to a haircut. Manzanares said, "He's really feeling good about himself. He's really pumped."
Manzanares said he only thought about taking care of one person. He didn't expect what he did to become such a big deal. "I've also been contacted by the mayor's office about this idea. They love this idea, and they want to present it to committee for this month's meeting with the Homeless Coalition," he explained.
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