Moving America Forward

This Formerly Homeless Man Shows What It Truly Means to Pay It Forward

June 9, 2014
This Formerly Homeless Man Shows What It Truly Means to Pay It Forward
A homeless man hugs Eric, right, who was himself homeless until very recently, after finding out he would be given a hotel room to stay in for one month. Screengrab via YouTube
After receiving a roof over his head, Eric gives the gift of shelter to someone else.

Magic of Rahat has struck again!

It’s the third chapter of the YouTube star’s video series featuring a homeless man named Eric. And now, this incredible story has come full circle.

Back in March, Rahat orchestrated a “prank” on Eric that set him up to be a lottery winner. After scoring $1,000 in cash, Eric immediately wanted to share his prize. His heartwarming gesture touched so many viewers that they opened up their wallets and donated so much money ($44,000!) that Eric now has a furnished home that is completely paid for for the next year.

Now that he has a job and is no longer living on the streets, Eric is helping others in need — and his amazing act of kindness is captured in the video below.

With $1,000 of his own money, Eric approaches a homeless busker on a sweltering day and offers to pay for a hotel room. The man is suspicious at first, but ultimately takes up Eric on his kind offer.

At the hotel lobby, the two learn that the $1,000 will pay for a whole month at the hotel. When they get to the room (complete with air conditioning, a fridge, and a stove), the man is so overwhelmed that he breaks down in tears.

“I wanted to help,” Eric tells his new friend after a warm embrace. “And this is not the last time you’re going to see me.”

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According to a recent report from the National Alliance to End Homelessness, there are more than 610,000 people who do not have a roof over their heads. We need to do so much more to get our homeless Americans off the street. While it sounds like a daunting task, it can be done.

As you can see from Eric’s story, a little compassion can go a very long way.