A HOMELESS man who slept rough in a car park has a roof over his head and a job after a Good Samaritan stranger raised more than £2,000 for him.
Tony Lavell, 28, was jobless and kipping in the multi-storey car park in Halesowen, West Mildands.
He slept on the floor beside empty coffee cups and his bagged-up possessions as drivers passed him on their way to a pay-and-display machine.
But he now works at a metal-recycling merchant and beds down in a hotel after kindhearted Sherry Ann Lea Davies organised a JustGiving fundraising appeal.
Tony called Shirley ‘a lovely lady with a beautiful heart’ after his fortunes changed.
He said: “The people of Halesowen are being so nice, the support from the public has been amazing.”
Tony was offered a job as a yard hand at Metal and Waste Recycling in Rowley Regis, but couldn’t take it as he had no address.
Generous Sherry read about homeless Tony’s plight and vowed to help out.
A £1,500 target to raise money for his accommodation was smashed after more than 100 people donated more than £2,100 by April 10.
Sherry Davies, who launched the appeal, said: “I was watching Tony’s story on Facebook and I did speak to him in the car park.
I just thought it was ridiculous that all he needed was somewhere to live, so I set up the crowd funding page to try to raise money for a deposit
Good Samaritan, Sherry Ann Lea Davies
“I then heard he had been offered a job but needed a place to live.
“I just thought it was ridiculous that all he needed was somewhere to live, so I set up the crowd funding page to try to raise money for a deposit etc… to rent privately.
“There was an amazing response.”
Tony started working at the recycling centre on April 2 and thinks it’s ‘fantastic’ so far.
‘I NEVER BEGGED’
He stressed the JustGiving page wasn’t his idea and he had never begged before being offered his new job.
Tony said: “On a Halesowen group, there were a few statuses about me, it was the first one that got the attention of Phil Tromans, a director of the company.
“He came to see me and offered me the job. I’ve been to a flat viewing, but haven’t managed to secure one yet.
“We’re having a look at other flats as well, while looking into the applications.
“I’m currently staying in a budget hotel at the moment so the money that’s paid for that has come from the appeal.”
Tony ended up homeless after being booted out of his Halesowen house share in a dispute with the landlord.
He slept in the car park as he had no cash for a deposit and couldn’t face living in a homeless hostel.
Tony said: “I really think, if social services had looked after me properly when I left care instead of just outing me in a hostel full of drug users and drinkers, I probably would still be working for Argos and not in this position.
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“The first few months living off Universal Credit were difficult, there was a few weeks where I went without food because I struggled to budget getting paid every two weeks – I don’t think it was enough to live off.
“But there was the food bank in Halesowen, if it wasn’t for them I would’ve been starving. They’ve been amazing.”