Cop helps homeless man regain identity, pension after three years on the streets

Cop helps homeless man regain identity, pension after three years on the streets

A homeless Florida man was helped by a police officer and now stands to get his own home as well as a monthly check.

John Helinski (62) had spent the last three years in cardboard boxes in Tampa, Florida and said he had become ‘invisible’ to passers-by.

The account was discovered when police and social security workers attempted to find temporary accommodation for Helinski, originally from Poland.

In the bid to trace a birth certificate for the man, a housing official came across the account.

The bank, Bank of America, had originally been called Landmark Bank, meaning Helinski had forgotten he had set up an account there before.

In the years since, Helinski’s Social Security benefits added up, meaning he had enough to put a deposit on a house when he discovered the account.

He said he was ‘exhilarated and excited’ by the recent developments.
The police officer who helped Helinski track down his identification told the broadcaster he could only described them as ‘stunned’.

“I think we’re both stunned. We weren’t quite sure what to say,” Police Officer Dan McDonald told ABC News.

In the US, homeless people can apply for Social Security benefits. A third party can be assigned or a direct mail can be used if you do not have a bank account.