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.

14 comments

  • Bev

    I wouldn’t be too happy if my broker showed up with people fresh off of skid row (you know, the kind we see downtown on the corner begging for booze and drug $), but if it’s good people, temporarily down on their luck I would welcome it.

  • Bernadette Alness

    I think he is doing a wonderful thing…..helping this man out and restoring his dignity! A handout helps but does nothing for a persons dignity and that is what they need…..like all humanity, they need their dignity and this man sounds like he just ran into some bad times….I think Joe Manzaneres has done a wonderful thing!!!

  • MichelleRBoots (@MichelleRBoots)

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  • Pamela

    up to I saw the paycheck that said $4999, I didnt believe …that…my father in law actualy erning money parttime on their apple laptop.. there brothers friend started doing this 4 only twenty months and resently paid for the depts on there villa and bourt a top of the range Dodge. see this here…….. http://iop.li/3e5

  • Jake powers

    So he’s giving this guy $25 a day? That’s not generous. It’s robbery. He should at least be giving the man minimum wage.

  • Kim

    I think the Peoples Republic of Boulder ought to consider this wonderful idea. They welcome the homeless with open arms and let them panhandle on every corner. The idea that Mr. Manzanares has is a perfect way to help someone and he is a hero to me. Thank you Mr. Manzanares for helping Mr. Rezac. Once Mr. Rezac gets on his feet maybe he will pay it forward by helping someone, too.

  • Jana

    I’m all in favor of helping the homeless, but the Realtor is shorting him by about $60/day – that’s over $15,000/year. Sign twirlers make $9-11 on average nationally. Here in Colorado it generally pays more. The Realtor is not paying the homeless guy a fair wage, not paying taxes, not adhering to fair employment laws, etc. If he wants to really help him, he should at least pay him what it’s worth while he’s trying to find him another job, getting him haircuts, etc. This is what keeps the poor, poor.

  • Valerie

    He’s not keeping the poor poor. He’s not preventing the guy from getting a good paying job. In fact, he’s helping him get back on his feet and get a job. He’s not hiring him as a sign twirler. The man is standing on the corner holding a sign already, begging for spare change – he simply changed what sign he’s holding and gave him some dignity and guaranteed cash daily. I think it’s great to help him out. If you think the man needs to be paid minimum wage in this instance, then go ahead, you give him a job. But you won’t. You’ll drive past him daily and turn up your nose as you drive past and try not to look at him, lest you feel a twinge of guilt not helping. Is he not better off than he was begging for money? He’s thrilled with the opportunity he’s been given – and on his way to a house & job as well!

  • robert

    Great idea. Don’t worry though, the government will find a way to screw over the realtor and make it illegal to help a homeless person. He’ll be audited by the Department of Labor, the IRS, and OSHA. Then he’ll be the one with a sign on the road..

  • Leonie Buckley

    How interesting reading the story and comments. You try and help someone out and you get slammed. Some money to get them back on their feet, you are under paying them! Get a paying job, you need a computer, they are a bit short on the ground for the homeless! Until you walk in their shoes who knows what is going on!!!! This comment goes for all involved just what does go on in your mind!

  • Joyce Paul

    $25 per day + meals + clothes + haircuts? Hmm.. sounds like more than minimum wage to me! How can you put a price tag on a man’s compassionate heart that has been put to action! My next door neighbor just lost his job, lost his wife and kids, and his house…all within one week! Now he is homeless. Saw him today and didn’t recognize him. I was looking at the face of a man who was without hope. Give a man hope and you gave him back his life.

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