Homeless Sussex man who wrote note asking for work is offered a job

A homeless man who wrote a note asking for work to make life ‘worth living’ has been offered a job to help him get off the streets.

Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 5:25 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st March 2019, 12:26 pm
Anthony Johnson and Nelson Smith. Inset, Anthony's note

Anthony Johnson, 37, posted the note outside a bus stop opposite the Pelican, in Hastings, in the hope somebody would help change his life.

The note was spotted by 16-year-old Charlotte Howard who posted it to her Facebook page, prompting Nelson Smith – a landscape gardener – to contact Anthony about a potential job.

Anthony, who has spent nine years on the streets, said: “The reaction after Charlotte posted the note was weird. I was suddenly bombarded with certain things.

Charlotte Howard said she found the note at a bus stop in Hastings

“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. She saw me and recognised my position and decided she wanted to do something to help.

“I wouldn’t have got anywhere looking for a job if it wasn’t for her.

“She really is incredible.”

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Anthony Johnson and Nelson Smith

Anthony admitted to previously being a ‘horrible person living a horrible life’ who spent time in and out of prison.

On one occasion, he said he tried to break into a car just to be given a warm bed in prison and time to start over.

However, after receiving a four year jail term, Anthony was faced with living on the streets once released.

Charlotte Howard shared Anthony's note on her Facebook page

He said: “The fact is that trying to walk away from that horrible life landed me on the streets.

“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.

“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.”

Nelson said he was inspired to contact Charlotte as, in Anthony, he saw a man who was trying to help himself.

Nelson added: “I have had problems with mental health in recent years and in this post I saw someone trying to help themselves.

“I contacted Charlotte and said I might be able to find something for him. It looks like we may have sorted a job for him on Monday.”

Charlotte managed to secure a caravan for Anthony and has also set up an online fundraiser to help him do it up.

Her fundraiser has so far raised £950.

Addressing those who have donated, Anthony added: “Thank you for helping change what I have going on. Thank you for understanding my situation. I couldn’t have got out without the help of people like them.

“If I could write a message to thank every single person who donated then I would.”

If you would like to donate to Charlotte’s fundraiser, please click here.

Anthony and Charlotte are currently in the process of finding somewhere to park the caravan. If you know a place, please email [email protected]

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