West Shore RCMP Constable Alex Berube said: “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. I finally caught up to him on Monday and told him about the fundraising organized by Mike Kelly of Victoria Buzz, and that he had thousands of dollars waiting for him. 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.”
Realizing that the news may have been overwhelming for the man, investigators asked him to think about it overnight, and meet them at the West Shore Detachment the next day. The man came back the next day, and stuck to his original request that the funds raised in his name be donated, adding that what he really wants is a job.
Kelly has been advised of the man’s decision, which he provided in writing to officers. Kelly will continue to manage the raised funds and see that the right groups receive them. As for the man’s request for help finding a job, Kelly is spearheading that effort as well.
“When I first heard about this man and what he had done, I started thinking of how we could help him,” said Kelly. “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. 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.”
The man, who will not be identified at his request, did not want to be part of any public or media attention, choosing instead to acknowledge the generosity of the community by donating the cash.
Meanwhile, the rightful owner of the original $2,400 found on the street has been identified. The man, who does not want to be identified publicly, has answered a series of specific questions posed by investigators, clearly identifying himself as the rightful owner. He has since collected his money from the detachment.