A homeless man who found a purse containing nearly $1,000 returned it to a needy mother of three — but admits he thought about keeping the cash.

The man, identified by the Victorville Daily Press only as Chris, told the newspaper that he had been trying to save $700 to move into an apartment.

"I can't say I was perfect because for a tenth of a second, I thought about taking it," he said. But "it wasn't my money," he added.

Nancy Daniels, who had lost the purse, said she was grateful.

"I'm going to be able to pay the rent because of his honesty," she said.

Daniels said she offered the man $50, but he refused the reward.

Daniels, of Rancho Cucamonga, had cashed a check from her parents and forgot her purse on the roof of her car Tuesday in a Target parking lot. As she settled her children inside and drove off, the purse fell off.

It was found by Chris, who was living in the nearby High Desert Homeless Services shelter. He found Daniels' cell phone and began dialing numbers. He got a friend, who called Daniels.

Chris has become a celebrity at the shelter — which he finds puzzling.

"I just did what I thought was right," he said. "I know I'm homeless, but she has three kids. ... It seemed too important."