Homeless man accepts donations with credit cards

"I’m trying to turn this situation into something that will not only help me but help others"


(CNN) – In Detroit, there is a homeless man with big ideas. He has his own website, and he takes donations via credit cards. Now he hopes to do what he can to help America’s homeless.

Honest Abe, as he’s known, has been on the streets for 10 years. And with the tech background he has, he’s taken working the corner to the next level.”

Abe Hagenston: “Why not be the first homeless person in the whole world to have my own website to take merchants…You know, have a merchant account and take credit cards?”

Drivers caught at the corner of Woodward and Eight Mile may have gotten a wave from Abe Hagenston over the last four years. Outside of the occasional night in a motel or a vacant house, this is his home along with his feathered roommates.

Abe Hagenston: “It takes a lot to come from nothing when you don’t have any family, you don’t have any friends.”

But Abe isn’t the average homeless panhandler. He has a website.

Abe Hagenston: “Being homeless is my business now. My business is being homeless.”

Will work isn’t just a meaningless slogan for Hagenston. You can actually hire him for odd jobs on his website.

Abe Hagenston: “I’ve done some painting, I’ve taken a couple various other friends of mine that are homeless people out on team jobs that I had to do.”

Of course he’ll take a donation. And yes, that means he takes credit cards. He even got the square to take the credit on the corner, but his phone was stolen.

“Hey, God bless you! How are you doing today? Thank you so much.”

The 42 year old Hagenston has big ideas that include an app to weed out those fake panhandlers and a non-profit to benefit all homeless people.

Abe Hagenston: “You take half the adults in America. It’s about 100 million people. And if those people gave a penny a day for a year, that adds up to 365 million dollars. I’d like to see America start granting homeless people a real shot.”

As he tries to shake off what he thinks was pneumonia, Abe lives hour by hour, dependent on the good nature of Detroiters, which usually runs between 20 and 50 bucks a day.

Abe Hagenston: “I’m trying to turn this situation into something that will not only help me but help others.”

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