May 03, 2016 11:00 AM

A homeless man bought his own home after saving every dime he earned selling newspapers for over five years.

Mario Martinez, who hasn’t owned a home in six years, has been selling The Contributor, a non-profit paper on homelessness, according to WKRN, and closed on a 2,500 square foot home on three acres in Charlotte, Tennessee, last week.

“I’m so grateful,” he told the news outlet. “There are so many people who believed in me.”

Martinez was laid off from his job six years ago and his home was foreclose on. He lived in a trailer on an abandoned barn with no water or heat with his four dogs and used the money he earned from selling newspapers to start a lawn care business so he could save enough for a down payment.

But even then, no one would take him seriously until he met local realtor Brian Kemp on a street corner.

He says that if it wasn’t for Kemp, he might not have his home, but Kemp sees it the other way around.

“I didn’t help Mario, Mario helped me,” he told WKRN. “Mario helped me restore my faith in the people that are standing out on the street asking for him. I won’t look the other way anymore.”

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Now that he is back on his feet because of endless determination, he plans to get a stove and learn how to cook.

“So we fell on hard times, but now those hard times are over,” he says. “The kids and I, we’re gonna have a home. I’m so excited. I worked hard for this.”

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