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Coffee shop raises $15k to help Indianapolis homeless man

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The owners of a local coffee shop raised nearly $15,000 to help a homeless man who was living on their property.

MOTW Coffee and Pastries opened its location on 82nd Street last month, when they noticed James Tooley camped outside.

“We noticed he was living there and he wasn’t bothering us, and when we actually asked him what he was doing there he was a genuinely nice guy very charismatic,” said General Manager Shaz Soahil.

Tooley had been living outside in the elements for six months. He was a maintenance man at a hotel for nearly a decade before falling on hard times.

“I ended up losing my job because they downsized, they sold one of the hotels, that right there left me in a situation where I didn’t have a place to stay,” said Tooley.

Store employees took to Instagram where they set a goal to raise $5,000 to help James, they ended up with almost $15,000 since Dec. 11.

“We woke up shocked and amazed at the support,” Soahil said.

MOTW Coffee and Pastries used the donations to buy James clothes, boots and a bike so he can get around town. Instead of sleeping outside, he’s staying at a local hotel until he gets back on his feet.

“Really makes me feel very very motivated, thankful and appreciative for the people that had the heart and kindness to reach out,” Tooley said.

James and the staff at MOTW Coffee and Pastries think this could be a lesson for people who look down upon those who are homeless and may not realize they are going through a tough time.

“If everyone was just a little nicer to each other, you can give that positivity and really brighten somebody’s day,” Soahil said.

Tooley said he has an interview lined up with a company that manufactures magnets.