12/19/2012 02:21 pm ET Updated Feb 12, 2013

Homeless Man Returns Lost Purse, May Get Home For Christmas

A homeless man who never expected anything in return for an act of kindness now may have a roof over his head by Christmas.

Alan Dent has been panhandling in Manchester, England, for the past five years and recently came across a purse filled with £70 and credit cards, the Lancashire Evening Post reports. Dent took the pocketbook to a Barclays bank, and the branch reunited the purse with its distraught owner. Dent's good deed has brought media attention and inspired a charity to help him out.

“It has all moved me incredibly,” Sandy Sharples, 43, the owner of the purse, told the paper. “A person who clearly needs money handed in money. I want to thank Alan and he deserves a wonderful Christmas. He is my Mr. Kringle and sums up the spirit of the season.”

Dent may just have his “wonderful Christmas” now that a nonprofit has stepped forward to help him find a home.

According to the Manchester Evening News, a local charity was so moved by Dent's story that it offered to find him a place to live in time for the holidays.

"I was very pleased to be offered a house,” Dent told the news outlet. “It would really take the pressure off if it all comes together. At this time of year, a warm house and a decent bath can really make all the difference, and it would help with my rheumatics and arthritis.”

Dent, who earns money by playing a recorder on the street, said his newfound fame has also motivated passersby to give him more change, food and hot drinks.

"He’s fantastic,” Mike Lycett, a man who stopped to talk to Dent, told the Manchester Evening Post. “I read about what he did and it warmed my heart. It gives you hope."



Holiday Acts of Kindness