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People Are Raising Cash for Homeless Men Who Helped Manchester Victims

"I wouldn't be able to live with myself for walking away and leaving kids like that."

by Lauren Messman
24 May 2017, 4:40pm

Photo via ITV's Twitter

Two homeless men reportedly came to the aid of multiple victims following the blast that went off on Monday night, killing 22 people and injuring 64 others at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England. Now, after sharing their stories with multiple news outlets, people are rallying behind the two men by donating money in an effort to help them get back on their feet, BuzzFeed News reports.

One man, 35-year-old Steve Jones, recounted the traumatic incident with the UK's ITV News. Jones, who TIME reported had been homeless for about a year, explained how he tried to keep a woman alive and helped pull nails out of some concertgoers' skin before medics arrived.

Another man, 33-year-old Chris Parker, had been panhandling in the area near the concert venue when the bomb went off. He told the Press Association that he ran into the lobby to try to help the dozens of injured people around him, including a young girl.

"It knocked me to the floor and then I got up and instead of running away, my gut instinct was to run back and try and help," Parker said. "I saw a little girl... she had no legs. I wrapped her in one of the merchandise T-shirts."

Parker also claimed he tried to assist an older injured woman, but she died before emergency crews could get there.

"She was in her 60s, and she had been with her family," Parker told the Press Association. "I haven't stopped crying."

Now, multiple online crowdfunding campaigns have been launched in order to help Parker and Jones find permanent lodging and get back on their feet. Two crowdfunding campaigns set up for Jones have reached more than $75,000 combined, TIME reports. And according to the New York Times, the online GoFundMe campaign set up for Parker on Wednesday has already reached nearly $40,000.

In addition to hundreds of people still reeling from one of Britain's worst terror attacks, Parker's story touched someone else—his estranged mother. After hearing her son's story, Jessica Parker reached out on Facebook in an effort to reconnect with him.

"This is my son who has been estranged from me for a long while. I had no idea he was homeless but he was extremely brave last night," she said in the post. Later, she told the Norwich Evening News, "I am so proud of him but I am so sad for what he's had to see and go through. I just want the chance to be reunited."