James Worley has a had rough few years. He is homeless and has been living out of his 2000 Nissan Quest minivan. Last week, his financial situation could have changed in a Publix parking lot in Leesburg.
"When we had come out of Radio Shack, we walked towards the vehicle, and I noticed a purse sitting in a shopping cart. There was no one around, the purse was just sitting there," said Worley.
So he says he went and grabbed the purse out of the buggy.
"The first thing I wanted to do was look inside to see who it belonged to and try to return it directly to the person."
But there was way more than just a drivers license inside, there was a bank envelope filled with cash.
"I think there was $1,500 in the bank envelope and other money in the purse," said Worley.
Instead of just walking away with money, which he certainly could have used, Worley immediately tried finding the purse's owner.
"It was hard to get a hold of her. I called the store manager, I called the bank I called the police department. There were relatives numbers in the purse, I called them also," said Worley.
Leesburg Police confirm he did call to report he had found a purse filled with money.
Finally, Worley got a hold of the owner.
"I said, 'Barbara, I know I've got something that you want back.' She said, 'Is it my purse?' I said, 'I found your purse.' She said, 'Oh thank goodness!'"
He says Barbara, the woman who left her purse in the buggy, met him back at the Publix. He handed it back to her with everything in it. Worley tells FOX 35 that he never thought twice about keeping the money.
"It really was the right thing to do, to return it to her. It's hers. It's not mine. Yeah, I easily could have kept it, but it's not mine."
He's hoping that his honesty will help folks look at homeless people a little different and give them the benefit of the doubt.
"Don't just walk by people in need," said Worley.