When a homeless person walks into a café, the first thing most owners do is kick them to the curb. But when a man in need walked into Abi’s Café in Minneapolis, Minnesota, owner Cesia Abigail proved that she was a generous person. Although the man in need turned to Abigail and asked her for money, she did not feel that he was ill-intentioned and got a sense that he was a good man.
She felt that the man really was in need, so she did him one better – she gave him the chance to work for the money. While other café owners would have either booted him to the curb or given him a handful of change to keep him moving, Abigail decided to empower the man and give him a chance to work for the cash that he needed.
But it was also not that easy for Abigail. Her Salvadorian restaurant was failing. She barely had enough money to pay her bills every month, let alone donate to people in need. She was in need! She was struggling! That’s why she told the homeless man who came to her from the cold, gritty streets that she had nothing to give. However, she did have work that he could do, which would help alleviate some of the burden of the restaurant from her shoulders so she could work on drumming up more business and getting more customers to taste her delicious food.
While part of her wanted to kick the man out without giving him anything, her heart told her to hire him for the day. She was short-staffed and needed the help, and this man was ready and willing. She gave him the job for the day.
That’s when the homeless man, Marcus, revealed to Abigail that all he wanted was a job. However, he had a criminal record, which made it very difficult to get someone to hire him. Because he had to check the box on the application that listed him as previously been convicted of a crime, employers turned their noses up at him and refused to give him a chance to prove that the time he spent in prison really had rehabilitated him. Instead, he found himself struggling on the streets because he had gone to prison, served his time, and been released into a world that still wanted nothing to do with him. It was as if he were a leper in the era of Jesus Christ. Marcus needed a miracle.
Despite learning that Marcus had a criminal record, Abigail offered him the chance to work for some money. She wanted to give him a second chance to prove that he was a changed man. It wasn’t that he wanted to beg for change or steal; he had no other options when the general society looked down on him as a convict.
After opening her business to Marcus, he quickly proved that he was a good worker. In the days and weeks after giving him that first chance, Marcus was able to use the job to turn his life around. Because Abigail, in her moment of need, accepted the help that appeared on her doorstep, she changed her life and the life of a man in need.
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