This Man Sat Here for 2 Years—When 1 Stranger Sees What He’s Holding, He Stops Dead in His Tracks

Frederick Callison is not your average homeless man. Though many assume that homeless people are just sitting around begging for money all day, Callison has proved to make much more valuable use of his time.

Rather than just holding up a sign asking for help, he’s got a stack of résumés handy, ready to advertise the skill sets that he has to help you—or anyone else who will give him the chance. He’s been sitting outside the same grocery store in Sacramento, California for two years now, just waiting for somebody to give him a shot.

25-year-old Michael Marteen ran into Callison one day last month when he was grocery shopping with his fiancee and his daughters.

Michael Marteen helped Frederick Callison find a job

Like most of us, Marteen was used to seeing homeless people asking for resources, but not necessarily offering them. He was totally refreshed and impressed by the man’s ambition and perseverance amidst adverse circumstances.

Marteen saw Callison sitting on his sleeping bag, accompanied with a stack of neatly fanned out résumés, a sign reading “need work and food,” and a smile that said, “I’m ready for anything.”

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homeless job seeker

Just to show how determined he was to land a job, he also had his social security card, ID, and food handler’s certificate on hand. He was ready and willing to advertise his work ethic and credentials.

“When I asked if I could see his resume, he hopped right up to hand one to me and then started telling me all about his experience as if it were an interview,” Marteen told “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.”

52-year-old Callison formerly worked as a line cook in Washington and moved to Sacramento two years prior in hopes of cooking for the Salvation Army. When his plan didn’t pan out, he found himself on the streets, but that never killed his spirits.

Marteen quickly recognized his drive and agreed to pass Callison’s résumé to some people he knew from his prior catering experience. He took a photo of his résumé and posted it to Facebook.

Frederick Callison's resume

Not too long after, somebody saw the post and offered Callison a position as a cook at Pizza Rocks, a local diner downtown.

“He was ecstatic about landing a job and very grateful for the opportunity,” said Marteen. “He was up the night before studying the menu for hours. It’s easy to look at someone and not see anything but a homeless man, but after talking to him I realized he’s so much more than that. He’s a well spoken, cool and friendly guy who knows what he wants and is going after it.”

Kelsey Straeter
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Kelsey is an editor at Outreach. She’s passionate about fear fighting, freedom writing, and the pursuit of excellence in the name of crucifying perfectionism. Glitter is her favorite color, 2nd only to pink, and 3rd only to pink glitter.