Homeless Man Finds Forgotten Bank Account With Enough Money For A House

Rob Waugh
John Helinski, 62, had slept in a cardboard box by a bus stop

A man who spent years sleeping in a cardboard box by a bus stop found a bank account he had forgotten - with enough money for the deposit on a house.

‘John Helinski, 62, says, ‘I remember sleeping under the benches there. No one would see me.’

‘I guess I'm exhilarated, excited, you know.’

Helinski had forgotten all about the account - the bank it was with had changed name in the intervening period.

But unbeknown to him, Social Security benefits had been being paid into the account all the time he was homeless.

When Helinski found it again, it had enough money for the deposit on a house.

The account was found when police and social security workers attempted to find Helinski temporary accommodation in a homeless shelter - and needed identification, according to ABC Action television.

The bank account came to light when housing officers tried to trace a birth certificate for Helinski.

‘At that time, it was Landmark Bank. Then it became Bank of America,’ he said

Tampa police officer Dan McDonald says, ‘We were stunned. We weren't quite sure what to say.’

Helinski is now in temporary accommodation - but has enough money to buy himself permanent accommodation, and plans to move out.