Employment for the Homeless

Robert Zaslow:

After being turned down more than 100 times, Marcus, a homeless Minneapolis job-seeker with a criminal record, was just about to give up.

Then he got a second chance to turn his life around.

McDonald’s and various temp agencies wouldn’t even consider him due to his appearance and record. But when Marcus walked into Abi’s Cafe begging for money two weeks ago, owner Cesia Abigail decided to ask him why he didn’t have a job.

“I see Marcus and many other homeless people walk up and down the street every day and wonder why they are there,” Abigail, 25, told TODAY.com. “Once he told me his story, I felt a greater compassion and thought: Why not help him out?”

Marcus grew up in the Minneapolis area and, at age 18, ran away from his parents and their divorce. In 2001 he had a short stint in the kitchen of an Italian restaurant, but when that closed down, he was back on the streets….

Abigail offered Marcus $9 an hour to wash dishes for two hours a day. It was all she could afford at the time, but she plans on giving him more work once he settles into the job. She’s also helping him find a place to live and started a GoFundMe to raise money.

“His reaction to finally landing a job made my heart smile,” Abigail said.

Even though he can eat the restaurant’s food at a discount, Marcus insists on paying full price because it makes him “feel good.” Not only that: He doesn’t keep all his food to himself.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than fifty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.