A Homeless Man Turned Down $5000 In Charity. Wants A Job Instead

Indrani Sengupta
Few among us would turn down money that was raised specifically for us, even if we don't need it. So why would a homeless man do so?

The next time someone tells you that homeless people should just get jobs, and stop “mooching” off the rest of us, tell them to this story. 

homeless man in Langford,

It began when a homeless man in Langford, British Columbia found $2400 on the street, and turned it in to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The West Short RCMP itself made the following statement:

“It is unusual for such a large amount of money to be turned in, but perhaps what is more surprising about this situation is that the man who found it is self-described as being in his 60's and currently homeless.”

This gesture of selflessness and honesty earned him a great deal of media attention, and affection. 

GoFundMe campaign

A GoFundMe campaign was started in the man's honor by Mike Kelly of Victoria Buzz, a news website that serves the Greater Victoria community. It earned $5,261 —well over the $2,400 goal—in just over a fortnight. 

Several hours went into searching for the man. Constable Alex Berube, one of the team, stated: 

“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.”

Recommended: This Bus Transforms The Lives Of The Homeless With Dignity

Finally, on June 22nd, Berube was able to locate the man, and give him the great news: that he had thousands of dollars waiting for him.

And astonishingly, the man refused. He asked Berube to donate it to Our Place and other food service providers for people in need. 

Then he explained that what he really wants—and needs—is a job. 

Why doesn't a homeless man just get a job?

homeless man

What phone number or address do you give your potential employer?

What smart, clean clothing do you have to wear to your interview?

Where can you take a shower, day to day?

And, worst of all, where are the jobs that pay enough for the homeless to have homes?

People care, but not enough for systemic change. Not yet.

For the time, we wish this man the best of luck in his journey. We hope he finds a job worthy of his strength and good heart. 

If you have a job for this good man, please email info@victoriabuzz.com.

Read more: This Is What Happened When Homeless People Read Mean Tweets About Themselves

Banner picture credit: flickr @ matty1378