ST PAUL, Minn. – An unlikely friendship blossomed between a police officer and a homeless man, and it all started with a $20 bill.
According to KARE, William Tentis, 64, is a homeless veteran. For 10 years, he served his country in the Army.
Now, he usually sets up outside the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota before hockey games hoping to get enough money from strangers to buy dinner.
“Got to get something to eat,” Tentis told KARE. “Get food in my belly.”
One stranger who walked by one evening dressed in his Minnesota Wild attire happened to be Eric Reetz, who is a St. Paul police officer and a veteran as well.
“I gave him 20 bucks, I said, ‘Thank you for your service,’ and didn’t think I’d ever see the guy again,'” Reetz said.
But the next time he went to a hockey game, he saw Tentis again.
Tentis pulled out a $20 grocery receipt to prove he spent the money wisely last time.
“I went to the ATM, handed him another 20 bucks, and said, ‘Here you go.’” said Reetz.
They continued their friendship this way for a while. Reetz was shocked when Tentis returned the favor. He gave Tentis a t-shirt, a travel ID holder and a thick pair of gloves.
“He sees me outside directing traffic and he goes, ‘It gets cold out, so you’re going to need these gloves,'” recalled Reetz.
Reetz invited Tentis to his home for dinner one night. While there, Tentis learned Reetz’s wife died a few years ago of a heart attack at 35.
“I didn’t know that,” said Tentis . “I don’t think you ever told me that.”
And together Reetz, Tentis and Reetz’s 14-year-old son, Ethan ate dinner.