After recently turning in $2,400 he found on a British Columbia street to authorities, a homeless man has rejected the thousands of dollars in donations that were raised for him once the story garnered media attention and has asked for a job instead, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said.
The unidentified man, who described himself as being in his 60s and currently homeless, went to police and returned the large sum of money that he came across in Langford, a news release from the police agency stated on June 15. Langford is located near Victoria in southern British Columbia, approximately 75 miles northwest of Seattle.
“This is an incredible display of honesty and selflessness,” Constable Alex Bérubé, spokesperson of the West Shore RCMP, said in the news release. “If we are not successful in identifying the rightful owner within 90 days, this good Samaritan will receive the cash.”
The owner of the lost $2,400 was tracked down a short time later, but in the meantime, a GoFund Me page was established to help the homeless man. The person who organized the page, Mike Kelly, is a writer for the website Victoria Buzz.
Kelly wrote on the fundraising page that it was actually a newspaper reader who was able to track down the money’s original owner after finding a poster in a Langford park advising that they had lost $2,400. It was clear from the poster, Kelly said, that the person badly needed the money.
In a news release dated June 25, Bérubé stated that after seeing how many people were touched by the man’s honesty, he decided to search for him.
“It’s not easy tracking down a person of no fixed address and no phone, but I kept trying because I needed to tell him about how the community had rallied together to help him,” Bérubé said. “I finally caught up to him on Monday (June 22) and told him about the fundraising … and that he had thousands of dollars waiting for him.”
What Bérubé was not prepared for, however, was how the man responded after learning he had thousands of dollars waiting for him.
“His response surprised me yet again, when instead of asking how to collect it, he asked me how to donate it to Our Place and other food service providers for people in need,” Bérubé said in the release.
Investigators told the man to think about in overnight and give them a final answer the next day.
When he returned, he again insisted they donate the funds, but he told police that what he really wanted was a job.
“Mike Kelly has been advised of the man’s decision, which he provided in writing to officers” the news release said. “Mike will continue to manage the raised funds and see that the right groups receive them. As for the man’s request for help finding a job, Mike is spearheading that effort as well.”
Police have withheld the man’s identify per his request, according the release, which added that he was acknowledging “the generosity of the community by paying it forward.”
The Victoria Buzz has asked anyone with information about a job opening for the unidentified good Samaritan to contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.