A Detroit, Michigan homeless man has taken a huge entrepreneurial step toward getting on his feet.
Abe Hagenston has been homeless for the past seven years and has struggled to find a job. He has previously accepted monetary donations from passersby, but has recently stepped up his game to accept VISA, MasterCard and American Express.
He uses a smartphone app called Square to take credit card transactions for any miscellaneous work he does to earn money and donations he receives from panhandling.
“Of course, there’s no snow removal. I used to look forward to that, doing some shoveling” Hagenston reportedly told CBS Detroit. Due to the warm temperatures, there hasn’t been as much opportunity to shovel snow for people.
"People don't realize how tough it is to come from nothing when you don't have any family or any friends," Hangenston told local news station WDIV.
He has also organized with some of the other local homeless to form somewhat of a “union” where they panhandle in shifts.
It is uncertain how many homeless live in Detroit or how many people have trusted Hagenston with their credit card information, but 2015’s count of individuals who occupy Detroit’s streets estimated 2,700, according to CBS Detroit.
While it may seem “risky” to trust someone who is desperate and homeless with your credit card information, Hagenston insists transactions are handled safely and securely. He even refers to himself as “Honest Abe.”
Banner image credit: Twitter user @