Homeless heroes get help to transform their lives

Mr Chris Parker (left) and Mr Stephen Jones, homeless men who were at the Manchester Arena when the bombing took place on Monday, went to the aid of victims instead of fleeing. Their actions drew praise from the public, and funds are being raised for
Mr Chris Parker (above) and Mr Stephen Jones, homeless men who were at the Manchester Arena when the bombing took place on Monday, went to the aid of victims instead of fleeing. Their actions drew praise from the public, and funds are being raised for both of them.PHOTOS: GO FUND ME, ITV
Mr Chris Parker (left) and Mr Stephen Jones, homeless men who were at the Manchester Arena when the bombing took place on Monday, went to the aid of victims instead of fleeing. Their actions drew praise from the public, and funds are being raised for
Mr Chris Parker and Mr Stephen Jones (above), homeless men who were at the Manchester Arena when the bombing took place on Monday, went to the aid of victims instead of fleeing. Their actions drew praise from the public, and funds are being raised for both of them.PHOTOS: GO FUND ME, ITV

MANCHESTER • Well-wishers have come forward to help two homeless men whose heroic acts of attending to gravely wounded victims of the Manchester Arena bombing made headlines around the world.

Mr Stephen Jones, 35, who had been sleeping outside the arena when suicide bomber Salman Abedi detonated his device late on Monday, has been offered a job interview that could give him a new lease of life.

"I am meeting someone today for a restaurant interview... meeting him later on this afternoon for a drink and going for an interview at a restaurant," the former bricklayer, who has been homeless for about a year, told the British ITV network's This Morning show yesterday.

West Ham United Football Club co-chairman David Sullivan and his son Dave Jr have also offered to reward Mr Jones for his selfless actions by paying his rent for six months. The father and son are also giving him money to help him get back on his feet.

The younger Mr Sullivan revealed that he has been "liaising with the Booth Centre" to take Mr Jones off the streets, reported the Metro. The centre is a Manchester organisation that offers help to homeless people.

In an earlier interview, Mr Jones said that he helped to pull nails out of children's arms and faces after the explosives went off in the Manchester Arena.

Another homeless hero, Mr Chris Parker, 33, was asking for money in the foyer area when the bomb exploded and the impact knocked him to the ground.

But rather than fleeing, he went to the aid of victims, comforting a girl who had lost her legs, wrapping her in a T-shirt, and cradling a dying woman in his arms.

After his actions became known, an online fund-raising page was set up for him. By yesterday, it had raised £46,000 (S$82,400) out of its £50,000 target.

Another crowdfunding page set up for Mr Jones was mere hundreds of pounds away from its target of £30,000 yesterday.

"Just because I am homeless, it doesn't mean I haven't got a heart or I am not human still," Mr Parker told ITV News. "I would like to think someone would come and help me if I needed the help."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 26, 2017, with the headline 'Homeless heroes get help to transform their lives'. Print Edition | Subscribe