When Marcus, a homeless man, walked into a Minneapolis cafe earlier this month, all he'd wanted was some change. But what he got instead was a second chance.
Cesia Abigail, owner of Abi’s Cafe, shared Marcus' moving story on Facebook on Friday.
When he’d come into the cafe begging for money, Abigail had asked Marcus why he didn’t have a job. He told her: "Well, I have a lot of felonies and no one wants to hire me for that, so now I had to turn myself to the streets and get money the only way I know, stealing and asking for money."
Abigail, 25, says she was short-staffed that day, and decided she would give Marcus a "hand up" instead of a "hand out."
"I asked him 'you want to work? I have a job for you!' His eyes opened wide and his smile made my day! He said, 'I'll do anything for some food,'" she wrote on Facebook. "Don’t judge [people] just because they out there asking for money for we don't know their situation... some deserve another shot. God gave me this blessing so why can't I bless others?"
For the past two weeks, Marcus, who has been living on the streets since he was 16, has been putting in two hours of work a day at Abi’s Cafe, washing dishes for the restaurant.
He’s been punctual and diligent, says Abigail, who told CBS News this week that she’s decided to make Marcus’ part-time job permanent.
"Just like Marcus, I had my help," the cafe owner said. "I had plenty of people to help make it to where I am today. They believed I could do it. People need to have someone believe in them."
Abigail wrote in a follow-up Facebook post that she hopes to eventually hire Marcus full-time.
"It will be a year since I opened the cafe April 1st and I still don't have the funds to hire more people which is the reason why he only gets 2 hours," she wrote. "As soon as business picks up I will be able to hire him and many others that really do deserve a second chance."
Abigail's original post about Marcus has gone viral this week, with more than 112,000 likes to date. Abigail said both she and Marcus have been blown away by the unexpected attention.
"I wanted to show my friends the importance of helping others! That was all!" she wrote, adding she hopes her good deed will inspire others to pay it forward.