October 18, 2021

Homeless Man's Life Changes When Cop Finds His Lost Bank Account with Enough Money to Buy a House

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A homeless man's life changed drastically when two strangers stepped forward to help him identify a forgotten bank account. He had been living in a cardboard box for three years and lost all means of supporting himself. 

Random acts of kindness can make a huge difference in people's lives, and their combined effect should never be underestimated. In a world where several people struggle to make a living, easing things for someone never goes unnoticed. 

Out of a myriad of problems that people face on a daily basis, having no roof above your head and no means to feed yourself happen to be the worst-case scenario. 


62-year-old homeless senior John Helinski shared he had been living on the streets until his life changed. | Photo: Action News

In 2015, 62-year-old John Helinski had known these feelings all too well after spending his life on the streets. The homeless senior was living in a cardboard box at the Tampa Bay bus stop when the cops found him. Talking to ABC Action News, he revealed: 


"I just managed on my own. Sleeping underneath the benches there and no one would see me (sic)."

As it turned out, the police weren't there to arrest Helinski or press charges against him. On the bright side, they wanted to help him live a happy and prosperous life.


The cops had traced a long-lost bank account registered in Helinski's name, which had been accruing a large amount of social security disability benefits without his knowledge. Officer Daniel McDonald from Tampa Police expressed his views on the matter: 

“As a homeless liaison officer, the bread and butter of my work involves hopping department to department trying to help homeless people find the ID they need in order to get things like work and housing (sic)."

McDonald narrated he first ran into Helinski when he visited the DACCO Community Housing Solutions Center in December 2014. He then contacted the DACCO case manager, Charles Inman, and decided to do something for the homeless senior. 


Officer Daniel McDonald helped Helinski discover his long-forgotten bank account. | Photo: Action News

The two kind men then worked diligently to find Helinski's missing documents, including his personal identification papers, so they could make housing arrangements. They even helped him get a temporary State of Florida ID card. McDonald also explained: 


"With his [Helinski's] consular birth certificate and temporary ID, we went to the Social Security office, and I just walked up to them and said, 'This man used to have benefits, can you help us?'"

Ultimately, the elderly homeless man was granted access to his birth documents. He then realized that the huge social security sum that had accrued in his name was sufficient to buy him a new house. 

DACCO Case Manager Charles Inman helped Helinski find housing and social security benefits. | Photo: Action News


With the help of officer McDonald and case manager Inman, Helinski got a chance to not only afford a roof above his head but also pay for his rent and food.

Despite being born in Poland, he had American citizenship, a driver's license, and a social security number. Clearly, the homeless senior's life changed all of a sudden all because of two strangers who thought it was their duty to help a man in need. 

We need more people like officer McDonald and case manager Inman because they've taught the world that it's never too late to lend a helping hand and be kind to people.  


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