A Fresh Start

On May 22, 2017, a bomb was detonated in Manchester Arena’s foyer as crowds were leaving an Ariana Grande concert. The blast killed 22, injured 116, and incited mass panic.

In the midst of the confusion, Chris Parker and Stephen Jones, two homeless men in the area, immediately ran to aid some of the victims. Parker wrapped a T-shirt around a girl who had lost both of her legs and cradled a dying woman in his arms. Meanwhile, after hearing the explosion, Jones began helping by pulling nails from victims’ bodies.

After Parker’s actions became known, an online fundraising page was set up to give thanks to the local hero. By the Wednesday after the attack, the page boasted nearly $40,000 raised.

After hearing of Jones’s actions, West Ham United co-owner David Sullivan reached out to the public to announce his desire to make Jones a “life-changing” offer and to help him “get back on his feet.” Sullivan told BBC Radio 5 Live he wanted to help Jones by paying for his accommodations for six months and giving him some money to help him turn his life around.

Both men are being praised as heroes for their actions and quick thinking at Manchester Arena, and hopes are high that the men will be given a fresh start to pursue more financially secure futures.