Minnesota Cafe Owner Employs Homeless Individual And Revives A Belief In People

By: Mia Williams | Published: Jul 31, 2023

A Woman With Ambitions

Five years had passed since Abby Smith started working at her little Scandinavian restaurant. She had spent all her time, energy, and resources working toward opening her own restaurant–her ultimate goal. Her objective was to be a successful business owner.

But this restaurant owner had no clue what was in store for her when a homeless man entered her establishment on a dreary Monday morning.

She Presumed She Had Seen Everything

Abby had ten years of experience in the restaurant and hotel business. As a result, she was used to working long shifts with demanding clients and nasty colleagues. Because of this, she felt confident that venturing out on her own to start a company was the right decision.


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Having worked in the industry for ten years, Abby felt she knew it all. Yet, on this given Monday, she had no idea what was ahead.


Monday Comes Again

Abby never failed to get up at the same time, 5:00 a.m. every morning. The weekend had passed, and it was the beginning of a new workweek–Monday morning had arrived.


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Before stepping into the shower, she gave her eyes a massage to wake herself up. She sensed that today would be an ordinary day other. However, she could not have been more wrong.

Kicking Off The Day 

Abby arrived at her workstation with a positive vibe and eagerness to begin a productive day. She cleaned the surfaces, prepared the day’s food, and opened the front door so that the day could officially start.


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Then, all of a sudden, a homeless man appeared in front of the establishment. He entered and approached her. Abby was unable to foresee the eventual outcome of this encounter.

The Vagabond

The homeless man asked her in a pleasant voice. “I’m Ricky, do you have any spare change?” Abby saw the eyes of the homeless man and realized he was unhappy. “Do you not have a job?” Abby questioned frankly. When he heard what she had to say, Ricky was taken aback.


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He shook his head and avoided looking at Abby as he replied. “I have a lot of felonies, so nobody wants to hire me.” Abby, however, had an unexpected response. 

She Had Seen Him Around

Abby had seen Ricky, the homeless man, hanging about the area for quite some time. However, she never witnessed him engaging in any incidents, which led her to believe he was simply a loner.

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Therefore, when Ricky entered Abby’s restaurant and asked her for some change, he didn’t expect the response he received.


A Bit Of Help

Abby hired Ricky because she needed assistance in the kitchen. He was over the moon; it was the best thing that had happened to him in some time!

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Ricky began working right away when she asked him to spend the entire day washing dishes and tidying up the restaurant. For lunch, Abby made him a sandwich, but when she handed it to him, he grabbed it from her quickly and ran out of the restaurant.


Pursuing Him

Abby was startled when she saw Ricky rush out the door, but she immediately began to run after him. When she caught up with him, she saw that he had handed the meal to another person living on the street.

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Ricky returned to the restaurant, and his kind gesture touched Abby. But she was entirely unprepared for what was about to happen.


Getting To Know Ricky

For the rest of the day, Abby focused on getting to know as much as possible about Ricky. She wanted to know him more.

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He did mention he was from Puerto Rico, but other than that, he was reticent and reserved in his conversation with her. What was his secret?


Hard Times

Abby was aware that she would be unable to keep Ricky on permanently since the restaurant was not generating enough revenue. Times were tight, and Abby was having a difficult time making ends meet as it was.

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As the day ended, Abby said her farewell to Ricky. She was under the impression that they would never see each other again–how wrong she was.  


Ricky Returns

To Abby’s surprise, Ricky showed up the next day at the restaurant and every day after that for the next two weeks, ready to start work.

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Ricky always arrived at the restaurant on time–consistent as the ticking of a clock. And always with a big smile on his face. Abby was eventually able to pay him, but what he did next left her speechless.


Receiving His First Paycheck

As soon as Ricky got his paycheck, he went to Abby’s restaurant and purchased a sandwich, and of course, she offered him a staff discount! She waved him off and then started packing up her things for the day.

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Abby thought about offering Ricky a permanent position at the restaurant, even if it meant making some cuts elsewhere in the business. But before she could make a decision, she received a phone call that changed everything.


An Unspecified Number

As Abby was preparing to close the restaurant after a long day, her phone rang–she didn’t recognize the number when she answered it.

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Abby answered the call hesitantly. Although she didn’t know who was calling, she was curious. Unsure of what was to come, she picked up the phone–she was in for quite the surprise.  


The Truth Unfolding

“Do you know Ricky?” an authoritative voice demanded. Abby’s heart began to race as she wondered who was calling her. “It’s the police,” the man uttered. “We have some information about him that we think you should know.”

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Feeling anxious, Abby asked the police to tell her everything they knew about Ricky. Of course, she didn’t expect their response, no matter how much she may have prepared herself for it.


Learning Ricky’s History

The local police stated they had run across Ricky quite a few times while patrolling the streets, so they started investigating.

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They learned that Ricky was originally from Puerto Rico and had moved to the United States to pursue a career in acting. However, he soon ran out of money and ended up homeless.  Unfortunately, Abby felt physically ill after hearing what the police said next.


We Need To Meet With Him

“Bring him in tomorrow. Make sure he’s at your restaurant; we want to see him,” the police officer ordered.

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Abby had a shiver up her spine. Why did the police want to speak with Ricky? Did he do something wrong? She hesitated before agreeing–she had no idea what the police had planned.


The Following Day

The next day, Abby arrived at work feeling uncertain and anxious. As usual, Ricky appeared at the entrance with a big smile.

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Abby had the urge to tell him about the authorities the moment she laid eyes on him, but something in her heart told her not to. She did as the police had asked, but would she regret not giving him a heads-up?


What's Going On?

Like always, Ricky was jolly, humming his favorite tune while clearing tables. But when he turned around, his smile dropped as two policemen entered through the front door.

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Their eyes were fixed on Ricky. 


Cause For Concern

Ricky quickly attempted to flee the restaurant, but the two police officers blocked his path. They weren’t going to let him get away.

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“Don’t worry,” they tried to calm Ricky as they blocked the exit to the building. But Ricky had good reason to be concerned when it came to dealing with the authorities–particularly police officers.


Regretful Times

You see, four years ago, after his acting career failed to take off and he had run out of money, Ricky ended up on the streets.

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Ricky had heard stories about cops not always being the good guys, so he was trying to keep a safe distance from them. But Ricky had no clue what these two policemen were about to do to him.


Come With Us Immediately

They told him, “Come with us now,” as they led Ricky outside and into their police car. Abby felt sick to her core watching all this as she stared out the window and saw Ricky get pushed into the vehicle.

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What was wrong with her? Had she made a terrible mistake? In a matter of hours, everything would be brought to light–but it would bring Abby’s emotions to the brink. 


Anxiously Waiting

After two hours, still nothing. Abby was dying to know what was going on, hoping that she would get a call from the police or Ricky would come back. Luckily, that morning had been busy, but as the afternoon went on, she still had yet to receive any messages.

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Abby was looking at her watch every other minute, and at 4:30 pm, Abby saw someone walk through the door, leaving her speechless.


A Support System

A well-dressed man with a freshly shaven face walked in and smiled at her. She didn’t immediately recognize him, but she certainly recognized his smile. It was Ricky–but he looked completely transformed! The police had taken him to the barbershop, paid for a haircut, and bought him new clothes. But they did not stop their good deeds there.

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The officers decided that Ricky just needed a little assistance. They believed he was a good person who just needed some support to get back on his feet. The entire precinct started looking for a respectable job for Ricky and even helped him with the paperwork to get a rental home in a nice neighborhood. Everybody wanted to help–and they did all they could–acts of kindness continued to pour in.


Financial Support

The officers rallied the community to help, and soon people from all over were donating clothes, food, furniture, and other essential supplies to help Ricky get back on his feet. They also helped him find a job and provided emotional support during this difficult time. It was indeed a community effort to help him get back on track.

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As soon as Ricky’s housing application was approved, he would finally have a safe place to sleep. Ricky was stunned. “I’m in shock, I think,” he said. He added that this had actually restored his faith in humanity.


Appreciation For His Hard Work

Ricky was moved to tears despite assurances that the assistance he received was meant as a “hand up, not a handout.” They said he had already done the majority of the work putting his life together by looking for a job.

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Though he was in a good spot now, he knew that life could be so difficult and that so many people do not care about others. Because of those instances in his life, he almost gave up faith in the human race.


Drastic Changes Ahead

Ricky had gone through a lot during his four years surviving on the streets. But this new place represented a fresh beginning for him, and he was determined to do all in his power to work his way out of being homeless. He didn’t want to live in the streets again.

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The generosity of complete strangers had been moving. But would it be sufficient to allow him to finally start fresh?


Becoming A Valued Part Of The Community

While they were waiting for Ricky’s housing application to be processed, Officer Brandford and his family helped him. The officer had been storing all of the donated belongings in his garage.

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The officer said that “now it’s up to him,” adding that “this is a starting point for him.” Being a community member is one of the most important things there is. There will always be someone to support him.


Looking For His Mom

Officer Brandford had even contacted Ricky’s mom in Puerto Rico. After not seeing one another in person for four years, they finally caught up through video chat.

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Ricky was appreciative of the cops and Abby’s support. He had a family, a loving community, and caring authority figures–helping hands for him to achieve his dreams.