DURHAM (WTVD) -- When Montrez Jefferies recently stumbled upon a $500 money order, he was eager to get it back to its owner.
His decision wasn't an easy one because he's a homeless teenager.
"Making a lot of bad decisions and getting in trouble at school and then getting involved in gangs," Jefferies explained. "That's how I ended up here."
Instead of living on the streets, Jefferies lives at the Durham Rescue Mission's Center for Hope. It's also the place where Jeffries says he's making a change.
"I really have changed," said Jeffries. "A few years ago, I just would've cashed it and wouldn't have thought twice about it."
This time, he didn't think twice about returning it.
"My mom always said do to others what I'd want them to do to me," he recalled. "I feel like if somebody found something that I had dropped and it had my name on it, I'd want them to take it back to somebody so they could give it back to me."
The staff at the Durham Rescue Mission tracked down the owner who says she works two jobs and had no idea she'd lost her $500. They arranged a meeting where her money was returned.
She asked not to be identified and gave Jefferies two gift cards and a grateful hug.
"Thank you," she said, hugging his 6'4" frame, "for returning it and you didn't cash it."
Jefferies understands the value of a dollar. He says the moment he returned the $500 money order to its rightful owner was priceless.
"It just goes to show you there are still good people in the world," said Rob Tart with the Durham Rescue Mission.
Jefferies tells ABC11 he wants to return to school, attend college and start a career.
Update: The Reality Project has set up a gofundme site for Montrez Jefferies. Click here to donate.
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Homeless teen returns $500 money order he found