Cheryl Love was making tea in the kitchen when cops came knocking on her door. But they weren’t looking for her. They rushed through her home and head straight to her bedroom. She was powerless to stop them. When they got there, they confronted her husband, Bobby Love, and forced him to reveal a secret he'd been keeping for 40 years...
Her Day Started Out Normal
The year was 2015, and it was just another day for Cheryl Love from Brooklyn, New York. She was busy making tea in her kitchen while her husband Bobby slept in their bedroom. But soon, her dream life turned into a total nightmare when she heard a knock on the door.
She Thought She Knew Her Husband
Ms. Love remembers the day she found out she'd been living a lie. When she went to open the door, the police were standing outside. She told Humans of New York, "I opened it up slowly, and saw the police standing there. At first I wasn’t worried. We had this crazy lady that lived next door, and the police were always checking up on her. So I assumed they had the wrong address." But she was the one who had everything wrong, and it had been this way for a very long time.
He Was a Troublemaker Growing Up
Her husband, Bobby Love, had grown up in North Carolina. He was one of eight kids, and his mother couldn’t control him. So, he got into a lot of trouble. “I lifted purses from unlocked cars. I was stealing government checks out of mailboxes,” he told Humans of New York. But he didn’t stop there.
He Paid For His Dues
“I got bolder and bolder, until one day I got busted stealing from the band room at school,” he said. In the blink of an eye, he was shipped off to Morrison Training School, a juvenile detention center, and he hated every minute of it.
Juvenile Hall Was Rough
“The food was terrible. The kids were violent. I still have scars from all the times I got beat up,” he shared. And whenever he heard the whistle of a freight train pass by, he wondered where the train was going. Until one night, he decided to follow it and see for himself.
He Made a Run For It
“So one night, when the guard turned his back to check the clock, I ran out the back door-- toward the sound of that whistle. And that was the first place I ever escaped from,” he recounted, almost savoring the moment he decided to escape Juvie hall. But this wouldn’t be his last great escape...
He Got a Fresh Start in Washington D.C.
“I followed those train tracks all the way to Washington D.C. And for a minute, it seemed like everything would be alright,” he said. His brother was there, so he stayed at his place and started going to high school again. It seemed like he had finally turned his life around, but old habits die hard.
He Couldn’t Escape the Sins of His Past
It didn't take long for Bobby to start hanging out with the wrong crowd again, and it cost him dearly in the end. By the time he met his wife, Bobby had taken on a series of odd jobs, working for minimum wage, until one day when he really got lucky. In 1980, he started working in the cafeteria of the Baptist Medical Center in Brooklyn where he met Cheryl. By then, Bobby was a brand new man. Unfortunately, cops didn’t see it that way.
They Barged Into Her Home
The moment she opened her door, twelve officers barged in. Some of them were wearing FBI jackets. They headed to her bedroom determined to find her husband. Then, she heard them ask him: “What’s your name?” And he innocently replied “Bobby Love.” But the cops didn’t believe him. So they asked again.
They Forced Him to Reveal His True Identity
“No. What’s your real name?” the cops asked. And then she heard the love of her life mumble a few words. The cops smirked and told him, “You’ve had a long run.” She had no idea what they were talking about, and then it all became clear.
She Didn't Know What Was Going On
“Bobby, what’s going on?” she screamed. “Did you kill somebody?” she recounted asking him. Her mind was racing a mile a million. But her husband's response was straight up and simple. “This goes way back, Cheryl. Back before I met you. Way back to North Carolina.” It suddenly became very clear to Cheryl that she didn’t know her husband as well as she had thought.
She Tried to Stop Them
Love tried getting in between the officers and her husband, but they kept saying, “Get back, get back. You don’t know who this man is." But it didn’t take her long to discover that the man she had shared a bed with all these years was not who he claimed to be.
He Was More Than a Petty Thief
It turns out that the group of bandits he hung out with after moving to Washington D.C. weren’t just petty thieves. They also robbed banks, but Bobby and his friends managed to get away with it for a while. “We’d drive down to North Carolina because those banks had less security. And we got away with it a few times,” he explained. But in August of 1971, one of the banks they'd robbed had a silent alarm that was used by a manager to alert the police.
He Got Caught Robbing a Bank
The second Bobby made it outside, he and his friends were apprehended by the cops. He tried running away but was shot in the backside. He woke up in the hospital and it was all over for him. But here's the kicker... back in those days, Bobby Love was known as Walter Miller, and he was facing some serious prison time.
He Lost His Freedom But Not His Hope
“It was all over for Walter Miller. The judge sentenced me to twenty five to thirty years,” he explained. He tried to appeal his sentence, but nothing worked. He was sent to Central Prison, a maximum-security facility. Miller's mother hoped he would turn his life around, but unfortunately, she passed away before he had a chance. But he was still committed to changing his life.
He Was the Perfect Inmate
“I never had a mark on my record. My behavior was so good that they transferred me down the hill to a minimum security facility,” he said. He had a lot more freedom there and even had his own radio show. He never intended to escape, but his plans eventually changed.
But He Was Ready to Break Out of Prison
“Because I worked at the radio station, I was allowed a single pair of civilian clothes. I put those on beneath my prison garments and wore everything to bed,” he said. Miller also cleaned out his locker of any phone numbers and addresses so the guards would have no way to trace him. The next morning, he saw a chance to escape and he took it.
He Saw an Opportunity to Run and Took It
“The careless guard was stationed at the gate. The one who never patted down the prisoners. So I said: ‘That’s it, I’m leaving.’ I got on the bus and went to the very back row, right next to the emergency exit,” he shared. As the bus slowed down to stop for a few seconds, Miller opened the back door and just like that, he took off.
He Came Up With a New Identity
The alarms went off as he took off his prison clothes and started running. He eventually got someone at the bus station to buy him a one-way ticket to New York. A girl on the bus asked him what his name was and in that moment, he came up with Bobby Love. Eventually, Bobby met the woman he'd end up marrying and she was the total opposite of him.
He Found the Love of His Life
Cheryl Love was sweet, naive and kind, which are some of the reasons why Bobby was so in love with her. But he never told her the truth about his past. They got married in 1985 and had four beautiful children. His family urged him to tell her the truth, but he knew she was too wholesome to hold such a secret, so he kept it to himself, and wound up working in the last place you would expect.
He Was a Man of Faith
Miller became a deacon at his church. “Every Sunday our pastor would preach about forgetting the past, and forgiving ourselves, and looking ahead,” he said. Those words really resonated with him. He was the true embodiment of what the pastor preached as he had managed to change his entire life. But Miller's wife, as wholesome as she was, already suspected that something was off with her husband.
There Were Warning Signs
“First, he never liked to be in photographs. And he always thought people were watching him,” she explained to Humans of New York. He would also shut down whenever she tried getting close to him. But overall, Miller (or Bobby Love to his wife), was a good husband who did the laundry, cooked and cared for his family. But now Cheryl knew the whole truth. Her husband was behind bars. But the man cops had been looking for all this time didn’t exist anymore.
Everyone Walked on Eggshells Around Her
Her husband’s arrest was all over the news, and people at church refused to believe she didn't know the truth about her husband, but she truly didn’t. Even her co-workers started acting funny around Cheryl and it really upset her. “I was so angry. But I never hated him. I wanted to comfort him. I wanted to hold his hand,” she explained. But was their marriage over?
She Couldn’t Let Him Rot in Prison
When she visited her husband in prison, he told her he assumed she was going to leave him and she told him that she had married him for better or worse. But she needed to get him out of prison, so she wrote letters to President Obama and their governor. She even gathered testimonials from people who could vouch for him. But did it pay off in the end?
He Was Free to Live His Life Again
She spoke to the parole board on her husband’s behalf. “I didn’t know a thing about Walter Miller. But I told them all about Bobby Love. And the parole board took mercy,” she shared. After a year in prison, her husband was released. He legally changed his name to Bobby Love, and now, the couple are moving on stronger than ever.
Living on the Streets
New Haven winters are harsh for everyone, with freezing conditions and snow storms forcing you to shovel your driveway multiple times a day. However, for Elmer Alvarez, winters were especially severe as he had been living on the streets for several years.
His Drug Addiction Led Him to Be Homeless
Even though he was living rough, Elmer was still determined to seek help for his addiction, and he had hope that he wouldn't always live on the streets. He attended Narcotics Anonymous where he was encouraged to live a better life. Not only were his meetings a place that sheltered him from the cold, they eventually helped him beat his addiction for good.
Getting Off the Streets Was a Difficult Journey
Everyday, Elmer thought about ways to get off the street, but the idea of it was a lot easier than actually doing it. However, one day Elmer would carry out a selfless act that would give him a golden opportunity to turn his life around, he just didn't know it yet...
One Day Can Change Everything
On a cold November morning, Elmer was wandering the streets when he came across a piece of paper lying on the ground. Discarded papers like this are often times just a simple grocery store receipt, but they could just as easily be a winning lottery ticket! When Elmer looked closely, he saw it was a signed check.
A Valuable Finding
As Elmer stood on the pavement holding a check with somebody’s signature written on it, he immediately realized that he was holding something valuable. It wasn’t until he read the amount on the check that his mouth dropped.
The Check Was for a Large Amount
Elmer was shocked that he had found a check for a whopping $10,000. He knew that somebody somewhere was probably freaking out looking for this check that he was now in possession of. Examining the check further, he discovered a phone number written on the back.
He Wanted to Return the Check
With an endorsed check in his hand, Elmer could have easily visited the nearest bank and changed his life by taking a stranger's hard-earned money. But instead, the homeless man that was battling freezing weather conditions went in search of a phone to call the number on the back of the check.
He Found a Phone to Make the Call
After pacing the streets in search of a phone, Elmer found a friend who he knew owned a cell phone. As a Spanish speaker who knew very little English, Elmer asked his friend to make the call on his behalf.
A Woman Answered
A few blocks away in her office, self-made CEO and President of Outreach Realty Services and Outreach School of Real Estate, Roberta Hoskie picked up her phone to an unexpected call. Elmer’s friend explained to her that his friend had found an endorsed check with her name on it and wanted to return it to her. Roberta was floored as she didn't even realize she had lost the check!
A Selfless Act
The successful business woman couldn’t believe someone could be so selfless and return a check with a substantial amount on it, especially a person in need of that money. However, Roberta wasn’t yet aware that the person who found her check was in fact homeless.
She Arranged to Meet the Men
Roberta made her way back to the street not only to collect her misplaced check, but to meet the honest men returning it to her. She decided to go live on Facebook to document this incredible moment and to show her loyalty and respect to Elmer and his friend.
She Learned That Her Hero Was Homeless
When Roberta met with both men, Elmer was too modest to mention that he was living on the streets. However, his friend explained to Roberta that Elmer was indeed homeless. The real estate mogul knew that Elmer returning this check to her was a true testament of his character.
The Business Woman Could Relate to Elmer’s Situation
Before Roberta became CEO and President of two companies, she also lived a life stricken with poverty. At just 17-years-old, Roberta dropped out of school to care for her baby, but her financial difficulty meant that she and her child had to sleep in housing shelters to avoid living on the streets.
She Restored Her Life From Scratch
Roberta worked hard to secure herself an internship at Yale University, which allowed her to transform her life. Although Roberta found an opportunity to break the cycle, being homeless shaped her into the person she is today. The successful CEO never forgot about her nights at the shelter.
She Wanted to Commend Elmer for His Honesty
Roberta knew what it was like to be in Elmer’s situation and felt serious about rewarding him for his loyalty and humbleness. Instead of giving him a reward that would temporarily alleviate his problems, she wanted to gift him with something beneficial in the long scheme of things.
She Brainstormed Ideas
While sharing her story on Facebook Live about helping Elmer find a way out of homelessness, one of her followers suggested something that sparked a light bulb for Roberta. "I’m going to teach him how to fish," she exclaimed...
Roberta Returned to the Streets in Search of Elmer
Back on the streets, Roberta rewarded Elmer with a check and this time, it was written out to him. Roberta shared with Elmer her personal journey of living in housing shelters before setting up her own business. The pair bonded over their similar stories and eventually said their goodbyes. But Roberta was not finished with Elmer, and she then left to go work on her plan...
Roberta Had Something Up Her Sleeve
Roberta had plans to come back to Elmer with plans to help him break out of homelessness and reconstruct his life from the ground up. However, their next meeting would be sooner than Roberta anticipated.
Elmer Couldn’t Cash His Check
While he was standing in the bank attempting to cash his reward, the bank clerks were wary of Elmer. Although he produced his ID, they were still suspicious of the homeless man standing in front of them and refused to cash the large amount of money. As a result, the bank called Roberta to clarify and she quickly reassured them that this money was meant for Elmer.
Roberta Was Ready to Hatch Her Plan
Two weeks later, the self-made CEO arranged for Elmer to meet her in her office. With over 13,000 Facebook users following Roberta’s story, the media grew interested too. When Elmer stepped into her office he was blown away by the crowds of people waiting to celebrate him, including TV crew and cameras, but what came next would shock him even more…
He Was Presented With a Certificate
Elmer was awarded a certificate from Ms. Millionaire Mindset, an organization that focuses on eliminating poverty. Moments later, Roberta explained to Elmer her plan to "teach him how to fish."
She Planned to Teach Him How to Be Successful
Roberta gifted Elmer with free classes at her real estate school as well English lessons to improve his communication skills. But Roberta did not stop there! She emotionally revealed to Elmer that she had found him and his girlfriend a place to live, rent free and bills covered for the first six months, on one condition. He had to be able to pass his real estate classes...
On His Way to Success
After completing and passing his real estate classes, Roberta hooked Elmer up with a job interview at her colleague’s real estate office. No longer sleeping in the cold streets of New Haven, Elmer was climbing the ladder in life with Roberta’s guidance and support.
Their Story Sparked the Interest of the Public
As Roberta continued to document her inspirational friendship on Facebook Live, her followers increasingly grew and with that came the attention of the media. The pair even appeared on talk shows speaking about their unique story and discussing the crisis of homelessness.
Elmer and Roberta Plan to House Homeless Kids
Today, Elmer and Roberta are working on building a transitional house that will provide shelter to homeless teenagers and young adults. Although it won’t earn them a penny, the project aims to get young people off the streets and help them build a safer future, something Elmer and Roberta can relate to personally.