12/25/2011 12:14 pm ET

Octavio Estevez, Homeless Dad Kept Off Organ Waiting List, Gets New Apartment

A homeless dad who was told that he couldn't get a kidney transplant because he was homeless, got the keys to a new Manhattan home Saturday, CBS reports.

Octavio Estevez, 54, suffered strokes in 2006 that kept him from working as a tailor, according to The Dominican-born U.S. citizen landed in a Bronx homeless shelter and was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease two years ago. He needed a kidney transplant to save his life.

But, because the father of two was living in a shelter, Mount Sinai Medical Center kept him off its kidney transplant waiting list.

"If being poor is bad, being poor and ill is a tragedy," Estevez told

When city leaders learned of Estevez's plight, they banded together with the housing authority to find a solution.

"We're able to come together and actually create that home that he'll able to have once he has his transplant to come back to," Yvonne Stennett, who runs the Community League of the Heights, told CBS.

Estevez got the keys to a Washington Heights apartment on Saturday.

"I know that in this city where there is so much bad, people are also trying to good," Estevez told CBS.