A homeless man in a Pennsylvania community has become a hero for returning a purse to a woman who had forgotten it on a park bench. Though the homeless man still struggles for his day-to-day sustenance, he thought of doing the right thing by returning the purse, which had close to $400 in cash.
When this homeless man, who refused to be identified, found a pocketbook on a park bench, he had to wrestle with his conscience before deciding his next course of action. A quick search through the purse yielded close to $400. Though he could have easily pocketed the cold hard cash, his principles were appealed to when he came across a welfare card.
Realizing instantly that the person who had lost the purse and its contents must need the funds more than he does, the homeless man texted Ashton Munoz, assistant director for the Hearts for Homeless shelter. The shelter provides all its “clients” with cellphones with prepaid minutes. “He said, ‘I found this purse. There’s money in it,’ ” recalled Munoz, and added that the text stressed the urgency of the matter for a simple reason: The temptation to take the money was becoming overwhelming, confessed the homeless man.
However, he did not touch a single note till Munoz arrived and relieved the homeless man of the purse. Using the contents within the purse, Munoz was able to trace and contact the woman, who rushed in to collect her belongings.
What made the ethical decision even more important was the fact that the woman is a single mother battling cancer. Though she has specifically asked the media not to identify her, she is believed to be in her mid-to-late 20s and is the single mother of one child. She is struggling with a second episode of brain cancer, shared Munoz.
“She had gone to the park to relax. She set it on a park bench and forgot it was there. When she went back several hours later, it was gone. She was pretty devastated.”
Needless to say, it was quite an emotional encounter when the single mother realized that whatever she feared had been lost was safely returned to her. Through hugs and a barrage of thanks, the homeless man returned her money and Electronic Benefits (EBT) card, used to access food stamps.
Munoz later revealed that the 32-year-old homeless man has been living on the street for a few weeks and has been struggling to get his life back on track. He added that as a reward for his honesty, the shelter has moved him into a transitional apartment.
[Image Credit: Getty Images]