Homeless Woman and Millionaire Brought Together By a (Wait for it) Dog

Lasharn Francis Harvey, Sahara ,and Steve Witkoff
Lasharn Francis Harvey, Sahara ,and Steve Witkoff

*Change is said to happen once timing meets opportunity. I’d like to add that this opportunity must be recognized. All kinds of opportunities lay in our midst, but they are often missed because we don’t see them. We don’t “recognize”  them because they don’t always look like what we expect. For example, a business person is generally looking for business opportunities; or “prospecting” with a mindset of how someone might be useful to them in the future.

No telling how long Lasharn Francis Harvey, a homeless woman, and her beautiful golden retriever-poodle mix, Sahara, had been calling the outside of wealthy developer Steve Witkoff’s office building home. But her sleeping bag had become a standard part of the exterior and each morning the businessman would hear Harvey’s hearty “have a blessed day!” as he entered the building.

Think about it: This is a sight many see regularly in any big city. A homeless person or persons crouched outside of an office building; where people of every status come and go everyday. Generally, people will place a few coins or even a bill into a cup and keep moving. This is not a judgement. People are busy.

But these can also be seen as missed opportunities to alter someone’s life.

Everyone has a story.

But you are only going to tap into it if something in your life inspires you to dig deeper.

This was the case with Steve Witkoff. As busy as he is, he is a father who still grieved the death of Andrew, his 22-year-old son who passed five years earlier from an Oxycontin overdose.

And although Witkoff led a blessed existence, where his millions of square footage offices and condos in New York, Miami and London served him well, he knew that no amount of wealth will ease the pain of a parent who has buried his child.

This fact was Witkoff’s “something.” 

And it was this that most likely made him notice Harvey and dig deeper.

An opportunity that was recognized and had met its time.

The New York Post reports, Lasharn was born 43 years ago in Chicago and, for a while, life was good. She went to college and aspired to run her own business. She sold a co-op in 2008, and invested the $140,000 profit in a technology she saw as a sure thing.

Ever heard of DVD vending kiosks? Rent a DVD on a street corner for $1 a day, secured by a credit card? Lasharn bought two of the doomed things. Then the recession hit. Her little business foundered.

She had bought the kiosks for $60,000, only to sell them for around $16,000, she said.

“Yes, it was devastating,” she told The Post. “But you just pick up your feet and start again.”

Harvey’s spirit never wavered. She became nomadic; decided to buy a dog that cost her $800 and hit the road.

But a series of bad decisions and wrong turns made Harvey lose EVERYTHING.

She ended up homeless. With nothing but Sahara, her sleeping bag and a tent outside of Witkoff’s building.

Still, her spirit never wavered.

She tells The Post, “It’s easy to be positive when you are homeless,” Lasharn said. “People give you money and try to help you.”

Enter Steve Witkoff.

“You couldn’t help but notice her,” Steve said. “Every single morning she was there, sitting on the ground with Sahara, whether it was cold or wet. She was there in the rain and she had a small cup with change, and that wasn’t going to be sufficient. And that is how I met her.”

Steve remembers their first meeting. “Sahara jumped on me and knocked the change out of the cup” as he made the first of many donations.

“I see a lot of homeless people,” said the 59-year-old mogul. “But she had a kind face. You could tell that she was kind and that she was kind to Sahara. Even before I gave her the money, I talked to her about Sahara and she said Sahara was her baby.”

Beautiful story, right? 

I have a saying, some people know us wide and others know us deep. Rarely do the two meet at once. But Steve took the time to know Lasharn deep and the relationship grew to one that went beyond wealthy businessman and homeless woman with beautiful dog.

And the chance meeting ended up changing…no saving this woman’s life. Not to mention it’s effect on Witkoff.

And just think, it all started with a dog and a warm greeting.

Read more at The NY Post.

Lasharn and Steve





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