A homeless in America has turned his luck around with a new house and over $190,000 after returning an engagement ring.

Billy Ray Harris had been living on the streets when Sarah Darling accidentally dropped her $4,000 into his change cup.

Darling rarely takes the ring off, but she had put it in her purse that day for safekeeping after she had developed a slight rash on her finger.

But rather than sell the ring and pocket the money, which most homeless people would have done, he instead kept the ring and decided to return it to her when he next saw her.

The ring’s owner returned a few days later and he gave it to her.

Mr Harris attributes his honesty to his grandfather. Upon returning the ring, Ms Darling was so impressed with the man that her husband Bill Krejci, set up an online donation page as a thank you to Mr Harris who could so easily have sold the valuable piece of jewellery.

Donations poured in from all over the world, and in just three months a staggering $190,000 was raised on the Give Forward, site which describes Mr Harris as ‘a great man who could use some help.’

The former homeless man has already put a deposit on a house he plans to renovate himself and has also set up a trust to manage his money. In addition, he has invested in a Volkswagen Beetle.

He has also gained a part-time job and reunited with his estranged family who said that they thought he was dead.

Thousands of people from all over the world wrote on the Give Forward website to praise Mr Harris for his actions.

Chris and Mel, from Brentwood, England, gave $20 and wrote: “In life what goes around comes around… Billy – your sweet actions, despite being in dire straits yourself, prove that there is humility in the world… you are one shining example. Lots of love from across the pond.”

Another message from Robert in Miami who gave $20 read: “Mr. Harris, Thank you for being a model of honesty for others. You are obviously a decent man. I am sorry that you have had to live under a bridge.'”

“Several years ago, my mother’s ring was stolen from my house. To this day, I recall the empty feeling in the pit of my stomach. Hopefully, your honest example will encourage others to pay it forward. Kudos to you, Billy Ray!’ wrote Tero Sturges who gave $10.”

Mr Harris told the Today news station of his gratitude that his life has been turned around after coming into contact with strangers.

He said: “When I think of the past, I think, ‘Thank God it’s over’. I mean, I feel human now. I want to thank all the people that helped me out. I want them to see where all their efforts, blessings and kindness is going.”

He also spoke out about the attention he has received since returning the ring.

He told KCTV: “I like it, but I don’t think I deserve it. What I actually feel like is, “what has the world come to when a person who returns something that doesn’t belong to him and all this happens?'”

Mr Harris is now friends with the couple who helped him out so much and plays hockey on a regular basis with them.

Ms Darling has said she is just grateful that Harris was so honest as many others might have kept the ring or sold it.

“I actually feel like I’m especially lucky to have this ring now. I loved it before. I loved it so much, but I love it so much more now. I feel like it has such great karma.”

And for Mr Harris, the nightmare that he had been living is finally over. Now and again he comes across people that had given him change and they commend him on his kind gesture.

Recently, a homeless man was commended after saving a police officer’s life during an assault.

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