From homeless to heroes
They were going about their night, one sleeping, the other begging in the foyer of the Manchester Arena. Their night was just like any other, that is until a bomb went off in the arena causing them to act in a way that made them, not homeless, but heroes.
On Monday night, a suicide bomber entered the Manchester Arena and detonated himself, just as fans were leaving the sold out Ariana Grande concert. It was a night that was to be remembered for years for hundreds of young fans. Instead it was turned into a nightmare as 22 people were killed, and more than 100 were injured.
With chaos erupting, the natural instinct would be to run, but not for two men living on the streets. Stephen Jones was sleeping on a street when he heard the bomb go off. Running over to see what had happened, he saw something no one ever should. Seeing lifeless bodies, and hysterical mothers while children covered in blood poured out of the arena, got him running over to help. He pulled nails and glass out of little girls faces while also wiping blood off their faces as well.
Another homeless man, Chris Parker, went over to the stadium foyer to beg, since it would be a busy time and he could make some money. He then heard the explosion, knocking him over. Parker described in horrific detail on how he ran over to a little girl whom lost both of her legs and was separated from her parents, and cradled her until the paramedics arrived. He also tended to a 60 year old woman who has severe head and leg injuries and passed away in his arms.
If one thing was for sure, both men stated they would never be able to live with themselves if they did not help. Both, went with their instinct to go and help. Their selfless acts got the attention of not only the world, but West Ham co-chairman, David Sullivan, along with his son David Jr, whom want to help Mr. Jones, while Mr. Parker’s estranged mother has come forward stating she wants to be reunited with her son. It wouldn’t take long for these two men to get the help they needed for quite some times now. Sullivan Jr. quickly posted on his Twitter “Me and dad want to rent the homeless man in Manchester a house for 6 months to help him get on his feet. If anyone can help us get in touch much much appreciated. Such a selfless act needs rewarding. Please tag anyone who can help us.” Hours later, a center in which helps the homeless, Manchester’s Booth Centre, was able to track down Mr. Jones, along with the help of social media.
Mr. Parker, on the other hand, has regained contact with his estranged mother. Mr. Parker’s mother, Jessica, had no idea he was homeless after losing touch with him some years ago. She is planning on traveling to Manchester from her home in Norfolk. Described as “falling on hard times” and with a “heart of gold”, Mr. Parker is now a hero and has a second chance at living a normal life again.
Fundraisers have been set up for both men, with each reaching over £20,000 by midnight on Tuesday. Both were commended for their bravery and selfless acts. Fundraisers have also been set up for the victims and their families as well.