Woman says kismet brought back stolen purse via homeless man in need

An act of kindness is helping change a life.

Aeric McCoy said his life was a wreck when a chance to do the right thing came along. His actions ended up putting him on a path to a new life.

“If you ask me, God put that purse there because he knew Kaitlyn’s spirit and he knew Kaitlyn’s heart,” McCoy said.

McCoy is talking about Kaitlyn Smith, whose purse was stolen in June. Three days later, McCoy found it in a west Baltimore alley. Having had his sleeping bag stolen from the abandoned house he was living in, he was determined to find the owner.

“I heard a voice that said, ‘You have to give it back,'” McCoy said.

McCoy said he found a bill in the purse with Smith’s address on it. He took the Metro and walked to Smith’s house in Patterson Park, but stopped a block from her house.

“We’re walking to my friend’s house, and I see this man lumbering toward us with a ratty T-shirt and jeans, fisherman’s hat, head down lumbering toward us, and with my purse tucked under his arm,” Smith said.

She asked to buy the purse.

“I told her this purse belongs to a lady that I’m trying to return it to, and that’s when she said she was the owner of the purse,” McCoy said.

They talked and Smith got him a new sleeping bag, clothes and a flashlight, and she gave him a ride back to where he was staying in west Baltimore. On the drive, he told her he’s a heroin addict and he would like to stop misusing. He knew a place in Florida.

“If you’re serious about going to rehab and I hear from you this weekend, I’ll help you,” Smith said.

McCoy got a rehab in Florida to take him. Smith flew him there.

“I think I can turn my life around now. Yes, I do — without her help — She’s a godsend. That’s all I can really say,” McCoy said.

The two have become good friends, talking every day, with Smith doing a lot of advocating for McCoy while he is in recovery. She also started a GoFundMe page to raise money to help with his expenses.

But she has become very frustrated with a system that’s not seamless. McCoy is in a halfway house now after his 28-day stay in rehab, which Smith said let him go without a plan.

“I’ve spent the past six hours and the past two days just trying to get his plan reinstated for prescription. I really don’t understand how people without resources bridge that gap,” Smith said.

McCoy knows how hard Smith is working to help him. He sent her a picture and letter. In the letter, he thanked her and told her,…

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