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Hired a homeless guy for a day

Discussion in 'Employment' started by DCLC, Mar 15, 2007.

  1. DCLC

    DCLC LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 2

    Summer of 2006 A customer called to have the shrubs trimmed,edge the landscape beds & install 7 yards of mulch. They wanted this work started and completed a day before thier family reunion. Everything was loaded and ready to go the day before, the next morning my two guys was a no show. Both called in sick and I was pissed. So I started out that morning thinking I'm not going to get this done today. Stopped by a B.P. to get some coffee and noticed a homeless guy with a sign "Will work for food" on the corner. Thinking about putting this guy to work kind of worried me but I had to get this job done that day no matter what. I finally went over to the guy and asked him if he wanted to help me out today. He said yes. To my surprise he had some experience in landscaping which helped out alot. To make a long story short, This guy busted his butt all day long for me, we got the job done an hour quicker than I estimated. At the end of the day all he wanted was a Wendy's combo meal. I said screw that I took him out and bought him a steak dinner with the works. He was wore out and I knew he would be sleeping under a bridge some place, which I didn't want to see that happed after what he just did for me so I put in a hotel for that night. I told him to call me if he wanted to work. Haven't heard from him since but I never would've got that job done without his help.
  2. bigjeeping

    bigjeeping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    You're a good man for putting him in a hotel.. One of my employees two summers ago liked working for me so much he straight up told me one day, "Zach, you don't have to pay me."
    I was startled and didn't know what to think - of course I insisted on paying him, and I offered a few alternatives like buying his groceries. In the end I had to let this guy go because he got in a hustle with another one of my workers.. to this day I have no idea why he wanted to work for free. But clearly, one man's Wendys Combo Meal is another man's Feast of Kings.
  3. Team-Green L&L

    Team-Green L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,775

    Charitable acts are always repaid in the end. Good for you for your kindness. It reminds me of the summer of 2002, when we bought a bunch of pup tents and distributed them to the homeless women and kids in ATL. I'm sure half of them ended up back at Wal-Mart for a refund, but the other half slept inside something for a while.
  4. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    if the whole world could be so kind we would all be alot happier in the end.

    God Bless ya for your kindness to him. The sad part of this story tho had you not been in a jam would you of looked twice at him ? We had some homeless guys at a local gas station with signs. While I didnt need the help I did buy them each a slice of pizza and a drink and they chowed down like they had not eaten in a week. The smile on thier faces was worth it.
  5. StBalor

    StBalor LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 798

    I thought about picking someone up like this before. When i was talking about it to one of my cousins he told me he tried it before and the guy said no thanks to the work but still replied he could use a donation.
    The thing is you never know who really wants to work and who wants to con you.
  6. DBL

    DBL LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,219

    :clapping: youre a good man too bad he didnt come back to work
  7. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    I too tried to do my part for mankind hiring homeless. I had a much different experience. lets just say none of them good as a matter of fact none of them even less than awful. Just want to balance the scales of the discussion for those of you who are considering combing the streets for the unicorn err I mean great homeless worker.

    I have given a lot of thought to this and it may just be the location Phoenix. My reasoning on this is as follows.

    The % of people in PHX that are from PHX is minute to say the least. If you are doing well holding down a job etc why leave your home? The biggest reason people have for moving here is because at the very least things are not going well at home. So they come here for a better life. The fact is the scenery has changed but the core reason things were not going well is still the same. They are still the sane people except here they are without the support of their family.
  8. Mow It All llc

    Mow It All llc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 115

    If there is anyone around Toms River NJ this will be for you.....Its on the news and in the papers all the time, but off of RT37 there is a HUGE polpulation of homeless in the woods. Alot of people help them by donating supplies, there is a guy from a church that goes there with a trailer once a week for them to shower and eat. People really are kind to them......They did an interview with them and they all said they try, but with no phone and no addrs people wont hire them. They have familys living in the woods and kids. I wish I was closer cause I would take 2 of them no problem but its 25 min away from me......
  9. cgland

    cgland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,929

    So, you are telling me that you and the homeless guy finished the job an hour quicker than you and 2 laborers? You should just hire homless people. Not only that, but your regular guys should be ashamed.

    P.S. Kudos on the generosity.

  10. JLL25

    JLL25 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 200

    Its good to hear a story like that. Last summer I was running a crew mowing on the "wrong" side of town when I saw a guy and a womans head pop up out of a dupmster. I was disgusted, repulsed but also sorry to see someone living like that. I kept on working but I couldnt get this guy out of my head. So I called my boss to see if he'd give the guy a shot for a day, he says,

    "No, you never know when your generosity will come back to bite you in the ass, what if this guy has an "accident" and I end up owing him thousands of dollars?" I said I didn't know but whatever it was his call ofcourse.

    Anyhow I finshed up the job and went to the back of the property along the alley and found them several businesses down searching dumpsters. I talked to the guy and wished him luck and gave him a ten, hopefully he used it to get him and his wife( if she was his wife) something for lunch. Anyhow its good to hear about an actual owner who went above and beyond what was expected.

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