When Michael Marteen of Sacramento, California visited his local Smart & Final for groceries last February, he saw a homeless man outside the store, holding a sign.
It’s a sight Marteen was familiar with. But something about this particular man struck him.
This man wasn’t asking passersby for money. He was looking for a job.
“Need work and food,” the sign read.
This man was Frederick Callison, and he had been homeless for two years. According to Today, he ended up on the streets when a job didn’t work out after he had relocated from Washington to Sacramento.
But Callison has kept the determination to land a job—and has the experience to back it up, too.
Callison prepared dozens of typed resumes, folded and placed in envelopes, detailing his job background in the food service industry. He had worked in eight restaurants as a kitchen manager and line cook—he had at least 35,000 hours of experience under his belt, by his estimation.
Not only did he have resumes ready to hand out, he also had his food handler’s certificate, Social Security card and ID—on him, ready to go, in case any prospective employer happened to pass by, willing to give the man a chance.
Even further proof of his work ethic: Callison reportedly collected shopping carts for the Smart & Final, as repayment for letting him stay in front of their store.
“I am handing off my presentation of myself of what I’m trying to achieve and what I’m trying to do,” he told CBS Sacramento. “Because I don’t want to be out here.”
“I don’t like to beg. And I won’t. I refused to.”
Marteen was struck by Callison’s determination.
“My thought immediately was shock, and then immediately respect for him,” he told Inside Edition.
He told Today that when he asked Callison to see a resume, he began detailing his experience as if it was an interview—and Marteen related to his struggles.
“I’ve been in situations where I had nothing and had to bust my butt to get work, and there he was doing that, so I have a lot of respect for him.”
Marteen brought him some food and a jug of water from the store. But he also offered the sort of long-term solution Callison had been hoping for all along.
He posted the resume online, hoping that someone would see it and offer the man a job.
This homeless man was sitting outside of Smart and Final NOT asking for money. His sign said "Need work, and hungry" not…
Since Marteen had previously worked for a catering company, he hoped that some old contacts from the industry might help him out.
His post was shared over a thousand times on Facebook.
And then, the breakthrough came:
A restaurant in downtown Sacramento called Pizza Rocks saw the post and offered Callison a job as a cook.
“He was ecstatic about landing a job and very grateful for the opportunity,” Marteen told Today. “He was up the night before studying the menu for hours.”
Finally having employment, Callison has been getting back on his feet. Pizza Rocks bought him some clothes to wear, and a friend let him stay at his house. Marteen set up a GoFundMe page to help him buy more basic essentials.
And according to Marteen, Callison has found more than just a job since this story broke.
“Fred even found his daughter who he hasn’t spoken with in years,” Marteen wrote. “And grandchildren he didn’t even know about.”