Homeless Good Samaritan Turns In Money, Gets It Back, Loses Benefits

A homeless good Samaritan found some money on the street and turned it in, only to get the raw end of the deal when the government got involved. When then homeless man James Brady found $850, he had no idea that the government would penalize him for doing a good deed.

It’s usually considered the right thing to do when you find a large amount of money and turn it in. The formerly homeless James Brady did just that last spring, handing it over to the police. In October, the police gave it back to him, saying that nobody claimed it. He may have won that round, but he soon discovered that no good deed goes unpunished.

When homeless good Samaritan James Brady tried applying for government assistance, he was denied, because the money he found on the street was considered income after the police gave it back to him. He is now without housing assistance and Medicaid.

James Brady went from being a hometown hero to being allegedly treated like a criminal. He adds:

“This is stupid. I had already proven my honesty by turning in the $850. They were treating me like I was a dishonest individual, like I was trying to cheat them out of the money.”

James Brady was formerly a news photographer and market data analyst when he fell on hard times. After discovering that he was supposed to be at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, the trauma of being so close to death hit him hard. He ended up living off his savings and retirement payout, and he thought things were starting to look up when he happened upon the money in the street.

That’s right; a survivor of the 9/11 terrorist attacks is now allegedly being treated like a criminal by the US government for doing the right thing.

Thankfully, homeless good Samaritan James Brady’s story did not fall on deaf ears, as the United Way of Bergen County is helping him out with donations from people as far away as Chicago. On Saturday, they set up an account to help the man get the break the US government would not give him.

Chicago native Arun Arora, 42, heard about James Brady’s misfortune, and says, “It was a very touching story. He’s a human being. And given his background, I’m happy to write a check to help him.”

Tom Toronto, president of the city’s United Way chapter, says he will work with the homeless good Samaritan and try to get him back on his feet after his run of horrible luck.