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published February 07, 2012

Homeless Good Samaritan

Homeless Man Gives Thousands to Down-On-Her-Luck Banker

From the DailyGood: News That Inspires

“May 13, 2011-- A year ago, everything was going right for a woman named Sandy: a good job at a bank in the suburbs and a safe home. But last year, she lost that -- and with her 10-year-old, had to move into a truck. Police and DCFS threatened to take away her son until she found a safer alternative, so she moved into a hotel for a few nights to sort things out. That's when her angel showed up. A man named Curtis Jackson paid her hotel bill day after day, everyday. It turns out that Curtis isn't a big shot. He himself is homeless. But while on the street, he had always been treated by her with dignity and kindness; so in her time of need he started raising money for her by panhandling on the streets.”

This inspiring story from right here in our back yard went global last May and although Curtis wasn’t a guest here, his attitude of ‘homeless not hopeless’ is similar to how our guests feel and act at Breakthrough.  In fact, current guest Ronnie Boston rang a bell 10 hours a day for the Salvation Army from Nov. 18-Dec. 24th raising over $3,000 in his pot alone.  Ronnie, noted by the organization as ‘top bell ringer’ said the work kept him going and say’s, “wherever God leads me, I go- I was reassured that there are good people out there, it kept me going.”  Delano Horn, another current guest takes a class at his local church on the Book of Proverbs and gives back by leading a weekly devotions group on Understanding Proverbs. He has also been known to give up his last dollars to people in need, calling it a ‘blessing not a loan’, and say’s  “God has blessed me to be a blessing to others.”

Irving Wasserman

Similarly, one of the original ‘angels’ to support Breakthrough was Irving Wasserman, a simple  man on  government disability, who donated his life savings upon his death to Breakthrough to be used for job training for the homeless and mentally ill.  Arloa met this eccentric man early in 2000 at the original drop in shelter in Edgewater, where over the course of time he came to consider Breakthrough his family.  A frugal man and minimalist, he saved over $700 per month from his disability check, picked up change from the street, and even refused to have a stove in his apartment so he wouldn’t have to pay to keep the pilot light on.  Arloa Sutter, Executive Director and friend of his remembers, “this man of almost no means and forgotten by many donated over $500,000 to Breakthrough and became our biggest donor.”  

Irving Wasserman believed that one person can make a difference in the world, do you?