One day at my parents’ laundry mat/dry cleaners, my father saw a homeless man rummaging through our garbage dumpster looking for aluminum cans and glass bottles. For some inexplicable reason, my father asked the man to come into the dry cleaners, and to pick out some clothes from a box filled with dry cleaned clothes that customers never picked up. The clothes fit the homeless man awkwardly, but he seemed okay with them. Then my father gave the man a broom and a dustpan, and headed out into the parking lot. Within a few hours, the homeless man had cleaned up our parking lot. My father paid the man with a breakfast burrito, a soda, and $10. My father gave him a small plastic bag to store his “good” clothes. This became a routine.

I found out almost a year later that this man had gotten a job as a janitor at a motel. The motel gave him a small room with a cot to sleep in, and all he did was clean the parking lot, and the rooms. He was paid in cash since he couldn’t open a bank account. The job, the room, and income was just enough to keep him off the streets. My hunch is that my father had something to do with it; at the time, many motels in Colorado were owned by Koreans.

My father rarely hired people. My father doesn’t give in terms of charity. He gives through jobs instead. One time, for example, he gave a job to a sister of one of his cashiers. She was a single mom with two kids, no diploma, and lived with her sister. She didn’t even have a car. He not only gave her a paying job, he showed her how to save her money, and establish good credit. Eventually, my father helped her get her own apartment, and her first car.

My father knows what it’s like to be homeless, broke, and without support. Other than support from my mother, he pretty much built his businesses on his own. Perhaps that’s why he isn’t prone to give to charity, and would rather give jobs instead. He’d rather help people help themselves than give them a hand out.

On one hand, we entrepreneurs run businesses, not charities. On the other hand, creating jobs helps our community. Helping our community is always good for business. Next time you see a homeless person on the street, rather than giving them pocket change, try giving them a job instead. Pocket change can help a person for a day. A job can help change a person’s life forever.

Author's Bio: 

Young (aka Young B. Kim) is a writer, artist, serial entrepreneur, and the creator of ideavist™. Young's mission is to help people make their ideas happen through his writing, coaching, consultations, and through speaking engagements on ideation, creativity, and entrepreneurship.