November 11, 2013 6:59 am -

brady-homelessThere is something seriously screwed up within government social services when this sort of thing happens:

A formerly homeless New Jersey man became a hometown hero when he found $850 on a sidewalk and turned it over to cops last April — but no good deed goes unpunished.

James Brady’s government benefits, including Medicaid, were axed through Dec. 31 because he didn’t report the cash when cops returned it to him in October, The Record reported.

“This is stupid,” Brady told the Bergen County newspaper. “I had already proven my honesty by turning in the $850. They were treating me like I was a dishonest individual, like I was trying to cheat them out of the money.”

Agatha Toomey,director of human services for the city of Hackensack, says she needed to deny Brady’s services because of the rules: someone must report any lump sum payment as income.

“I’m sorry but we had to — I had to — follow regulations,” she said to the paper.

Brady was homeless April 16 when he found the cash in a bank envelope outside a homeless shelter. He could have used the money himself but didn’t want to steal from anyone who may have been worse off than he was.

The money bounced back into his possession six months after he turned it in because no one stepped forward to claim it.

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.