NEWS

Homeless man who turned in $2K refuses fundraising cash

06/25/2015 01:45 EDT | Updated 06/25/2016 05:59 EDT
A homeless man who turned in a suitcase stuffed with money he found on a Victoria street won't accept the thousands of dollars raised in his name.

An online fundraiser was started after word spread of the man's honesty. He had handed in the suitcase containing $2,000 because, he told RCMP, "it was the right thing to do."

One West Shore RCMP officer was so impressed with the man's story that he spent several hours off-shift trying to trace 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," Const. Alex Bérubé said in a statement released by RCMP on Thursday.

But Bérubé was to be surprised again when he eventually caught up with the homeless man in his 60s, who does not wish to be named.

"He asked me how to donate it to Our Place and other food service providers for people in need."

$2K returned after found in suitcase

Police asked the man to sleep on it, but the next day, he confirmed his desire for the finds to be donated in writing, insisting to RCMP officers that all he wants is a job.

Mike Kelly of online publication Victoria Buzz was behind the original fundraiser, and has agreed to ensure the funds are diverted as per the homeless man's request, as well as try to help him in his search for work.

"Here is a man who is facing many challenges, yet despite that, he chose to do the right thing," Kelly said in a statement.

"Now I'm going to do everything I can to help find him a job that fits his personal situation, and will hopefully move him closer to overcoming his current challenges."

RCMP also confirmed Thursday that the owner of the money found by the man has been identified, and the $2.000 has been returned.

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