Homeless Tempe Man Gets Day of Recognition for Returning Thousands of Dollars to ASU Student

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Dave Talley (right), a homeless Tempe man, returned more than $3,000 to an ASU student.
Yesterday was officially "Dave Talley Day" in Tempe, as declared by Mayor Hugh Hallman.

Talley, you may recall, returned a bag he found at Light Rail station to its proper owner, an ASU student.

The story wouldn't be nearly as captivating if Talley weren't homeless and the bag wasn't full of cash ($3,300) -- but it was, and Talley returned it anyway.

Like many, we were curious what an ASU student was doing walking around with a bag full of cash. The student, however, says he'd withdrawn the money the day he left it at the Light Rail stop to buy a car he'd found on Craigslist.

After he returned the bag, Talley, who currently resides at a shelter run by the Tempe Community Action Agency, told the Arizona Republic "the reality set in that it wasn't my money and it needed to be turned over."

He went on to say "I could have done a lot of things with the money, but none of them would've been right."

The weekend before he found the bag, his bicycle -- his only means of transportation -- needed to be fixed. That's a major expense for a guy living on the streets, but Talley didn't take a dime from the bag.

Since news of his good deed went viral, people have attempted to give him money directly. He's rejected much of it -- asking people to donate the money to the homeless shelter instead.

"Thank you for being a great model," Hallman told Talley at a ceremony in his honor last night.

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Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Interesting contrast in stories. A homeless guy returns cash that could have carried him for months. An MCSO goon physically abuses detainees as part of his 'duty'.

I vote for the homeless guy as humanitarian of the year. The other guy is going to be supported by the state of Arizona for a few years down the road.

I have to wonder, did the ASU student offer Mr. Talley even so much as a cheap dinner at a local restaurant?


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I offered to buy this guy a new bike after I read the story at azcentral. I called the Tempe Action Agency, the agency that dave talley works with for housing and other services, and the lady told me that he didn't want a new bike, he just wanted to fix his old bike which she described as his "baby."

Arizona's Politics
Arizona's Politics

James: Thanks for this post! I had missed the initial coverage of this great story - not sure how! I tried to move it forward on my blog just now (http://bit.ly/ibknU3) by adding video of Mr. Talley at last night's meeting, and making a personal appeal to help the wonderful Tempe I-HELP program (Interfaith-Homeless Emergency Lodging Program).

James King
James King

You got it. Talley is a better man than most -- I like to think I would have done the same thing. Then reality sets in.

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