Reports from Housing Charity Shelter shows that there were about 320,000 homeless people in Britain, which is 13,000 more than last year.
Although London has the highest rates of homelessness, other areas of the UK are also showing an increase in numbers. The biggest factors for homelessness are the loss of dwelling, falling out with family and friends, and the breakdown of a relationship. And while most are still struggling to get help, one fortunate homeless man found help from a kind-hearted teen.
16-year-old Charlotte Howard found a note on the streets of Hastings, East Sussex. The note was placed next to a tent and the girl reported that it broke her heart after she had read the note. The writer of the not was a 37-year-old Anthony Johnson who has been homeless for the past nine years.
The note read,
I will do a trial for free to show how I work. I don’t take drugs or drink
I will also do:
Anything to earn a living and make life seem worth living.
Help change a life”
After reading the note, Charlotte took a picture of it and shared it on Facebook to try and help the homeless man. This was noticed by Nelson Smith, a landscape gardener who saw the desperation in Anthony’s plea. After contacting Charlotte, Smith offered Anthony with a gardening job that he is set to start soon. “I have had problems with mental health in recent years and in this post, I saw someone trying to help themselves” Smith explained.
“I wouldn’t have got anywhere looking for a job if it wasn’t for her – she really is incredible,” Anthony said afterward. “It’s not like I haven’t previously been asking for help but all it takes is an open-minded person like Charlotte to come along and help” he added. Charlotte also revealed that it was the last sentence of Anthony’s note that made her act.
Anthony explained that he’s recovering from a terrible past that was filled with drugs and crime.“I didn’t want to do the things I used to do – my social circles used to be drug takers and criminals. Now it’s pastors and people doing outreach work,” the man explained his situation.
He also said that it was his choice to leave his past behind that made him in ended up in the streets, but he didn’t wish to be homeless, he wanted to make a difference in his life.“Getting a job is about having something to do rather than rotting away on a bench – it’s about having something in your life and at the moment that seems to be coming back,” Anthony said.
Charlotte also managed to raise over $1200 for Anthony and managed to buy him a caravan so he would have a place to live while working. “Thank you for helping change what I have going on, thank you for understanding my situation” the man addressed those who helped him. “If I could write a message to thank every single person who donated then I would” he added.
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