Realtor hires homeless to help them and his business

DENVER — A Denver real estate broker has found a way to help the homeless and his business at the same time.

Until about two weeks ago, Chris Rezac has been holding a familiar sign at the corner of Speer Boulevard and Federal Avenue.

“I’m cold. I’m homeless. I’m hungry. Spare Anything,” the sign read.

Now Rezac is holding a much different kind of sign as he greets passing cars.

“I’ve been sponsored by Re/Max,” Rezac said, with a big smile.

More specifically, Chris is sponsored by Re/Max broker Joe Manzaneres, who decided to pay him to hold a sign that says: “No need for your cash! I’m sponsored by Joe Manzanares.”

The sign also lists Manzanares’ Re/Max broker contact information. Manzanares tells FOX31 that he had driven past Rezac many times, wondering how he might be able to help him in a more sustainable way.

“I started with $25. I said, ‘Here’s $25 and call me in the morning and you can count on me being here,’” Manzanares said. “So at least you know it’s there for sure.”

“This is a guaranteed paycheck everyday,” Rezac said.

Now, instead of getting heckled by drivers, Rezac says he receives frequent words of support as he holds his sign.

“There’s a lot more people saying, ‘Chris you got a job!,’” Rezac said.

Manzanares says he considers it more than just paying for marketing.

“It literally is kind of like a sponsorship,” Manzanares said. “I want to try and help him find a job.”

Manzanares has already helped Rezac with new clothes, meals and a trip to the barber. Now, after sharing his story on Facebook, he’s also getting him help with a cell phone, bus pass and resume.

“I’m actually a certified welder, certified forklift operator,” Rezac said. “To have the chance to get back on my feet, is something that I’ve been begging for for a long time.”

Joe says he hopes his idea gives Rezac and many others the second chance they need.

“I hope every realtor does this,” Manzanares said. “I hope every small business takes advantage and maybe take someone’s face and bring a name to it.”

Manzanares has now taken on more than one sponsorship himself, and he says he’s close to securing helping Rezac find a home.

Manzanares is also working with the mayor’s office and the Denver Homeless Coalition, to see if there is a way to expand the sponsorship idea.