— -- A homeless man who made headline and defied stereotypes when he walked into a police station to return thousands in cash he had found continues to amaze.
He has now donated the thousands of dollars raised for him by people who were moved by his initial act to a homeless shelter.
According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the homeless man was tracked down by Constable Alex Bérubé of the West Shore RCMP.
“After hearing this story and seeing how this case touched so many people, I took a personal interest in finding this man, looking for him everywhere while on and off shift. 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,” said Bérubé.
A GoFundMe account had been set up by Mike Kelly, founder and social media director of Victoria Buzz, a news site. The initial goal was $2,400 — the amount in Canadian dollars found and turned in by the man initially — but has raised more than double that amount.
When Bérubé tracked down the man to tell him about the reward money, "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.” Our Place Society is, according to its web site "an inner-city community center serving Greater Victoria’s most vulnerable: working poor, impoverished elderly, mentally and physically challenged, addicted and the homeless. Individuals and businesses provide the majority of financial support for our programs and services. Our Place serves over 1,200 meals per day and provides hot showers, free clothing, counseling and outreach services, plus 45 transitional housing units."
The man does not want to be identified in the media, and is only described as in his 60s. The person who lost the initial money has been located and the money returned.
And while he doesn't want the money raised — the note pictured above details his wishes that it be donated — one thing he has requested is a job. Kelly is also spearheading that effort, and Victoria Buzz is looking for leads at the email address email@example.com.
“Here is a man who is facing many challenges, yet despite that, he chose to do the right thing and see that another person wasn't left short thousands of dollars and facing the challenges that would bring them," said Kelly in the RCMP press release. "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.”