Both the Secret Service and Dallas police said the man never made it within the security gates that limit access to the cul de sac in the upscale neighborhood of Preston Hollow where the Bushes live.
"This guy never made it to the former president's front door. He was knocking on the doors of people in adjacent neighborhoods," Secret Service spokesman Malcolm Wiley said. "He was looking for the president's house and was stopped by police before ever making it to the neighborhood."
Police picked up the man last Saturday several streets away from the Bush home, Senior Cpl. Kevin Janse said. They detained him until a Secret Service agent determined he was not a threat. Police then gave him a ride to a Dallas homeless shelter.
The man did not break any laws and was not charged with a crime.
Police went searching for the man after a resident called authorities and reported that a homeless person knocked on her door and asked where Bush lives, Janse said.
"She said, `You need to get out of the area,"' Janse said. "When he asked where the president was, she thought it was weird."
Police are not sure why the man, who is believed to be a Cuban national, was looking for Bush, Janse said. The Associated Press tried to contact the man through several area homeless shelters but was unsuccessful.
A spokesman for the former president declined to discuss the matter and referred inquiries to the Secret Service.
Under federal law, Bush and future former presidents will receive Secret Service protection for 10 years after leaving office. Former President Bill Clinton was the last president to receive lifetime protection, Wiley said.
The Bushes moved into the home and made it their primary residence a month after the president left office in January 2009. The 8,500-square foot home was built in 1959 and has four bedrooms, four-and-a-half bathrooms and a wet bar.