“So we fell on hard times, but now those hard times are over. The kids and I, we’re gonna have a home. I’m so excited. I worked hard for this.”

Mario Martinez of Nashville, TN has been selling a non-profit newspaper on the street for five years, all while living in a trailer that has no water or heat. Most people knew him because of his dog, Bear. Has hasn't owned a home in six years; he was laid off from his job and his home was foreclosed on.

When he was ready to buy a house, a realtor named Brian Kemp was the only person who would take him seriously, mainly because he saw him every day. “Mario helped me restore my faith in the people that are standing out on the street asking for money,” said Kemp. “I won’t look the other way anymore.”

Mario purchased a 2,500 square foot home that sits on three acres. He said that he's excited to learn how to move in with his other dogs and, most importantly, to cook.

Stories like this make me so grateful for all that I have, but also amazed at the perseverance of others. Well deserved, Mario! Enjoy your new home! I hope he registers for a house warming party at Bed, Bath and Beyond so I can send him a gift. ;)