IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. (KGTV) -- - A Good Samaritan returned hundreds of dollars to a San Diego woman, and it ended up changing his life.
Yesenia Del Valle says April 18 was the most stressful day she's ever had. She was dropping her taxes off in Imperial Beach but lost one of her money orders for $676.
"Somehow it flew away," Del Valle said. "I was going crazy. Literally, I went home and I was crying."
She thought it was gone forever, but Sergio Juarez found it on the street when he parked his car on top of the check.
"My tire was on it," Juarez said. "I looked at it and go [to my wife] 'honey, I think this is a check.'"
Juarez tracked Del Valle down and hand-delivered the missing money to her house later that night.
“I got scared," Del Valle laughed. "I was scared to open the door at first."
She was amazed that Juarez had gone through so much trouble to return her money to her, and the longer they talked, the more she realized that she was the one who needed to help him.
"He's very kind and that's what we need more in this world," she said. "He was in, you know, in a lot worse of a situation than I was."
Juarez and his family are homeless.
"We've been homeless for over three years," he said.
Juarez says his wife was laid off, and then he was let go from his job as a custodian at Southwestern College. He broke his arm working at a temporary job and has been on disability. He lost his house and has been living in a Motel 6 in Imperial Beach with his wife and children.
“There’s a lot of families that are going through what I’m going through," Juarez said. "From living in Otay Ranch, nice area, beautiful park, to where you’re living in a hotel.”
He says it's been a struggle to break the cycle since they can't afford a deposit on an apartment or home, and all their money goes to paying for a room at the motel while he searches for a full-time job.
“It’s been hard," Juarez said. "I thought (about) throwing in the towel sometimes, I cried a lot of the time.”
Despite the hard times, Juarez said it never crossed his mind to keep the money he found on the ground.
"It's not my money. It's her money," he said. "Whether it's twenty-five cents or $4,000, I don't care what it is, it's not your money."