Homeless man hailed for bravery during Ariana Grande concert bombing gets apartment

Homeless man hailed for bravery during Ariana Grande concert bombing gets apartment
Posted at 1:11 PM, May 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-24 13:11:10-04

A homeless man who pulled nails from the faces and arms of children wounded in the Manchester bombing has been rewarded with a roof over his head, the New York Post reports.

Stephen Jones was outside the Manchester Arena when Monday's deadly attack took place. Instead of running away, he ran toward the arena to help victims. 

"First there was a bang, I thought it was some kind of firework, and then there was a big explosion," he told CNN affiliate ITN.

"I just felt the wind force, and then everyone started screaming and running. Me and my mate we got up and we started running. We realized what had happened, we run back, and all the women and children were coming out with blood."


To reward his heroic efforts, West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan and his son offered to pay rent on a house for him for six months.

David Sullivan Jr. tweeted: “Me and dad want to rent the homeless man in Manchester a house for 6 months to help him get on his feet.

“If anyone can help us get in touch much much appreciated. Such a self less act needs rewarding. Please tag anyone who can help us,” he wrote.

A short time later, Sullivan posted: “WE HAVE FOUND STEVE ! Shows the power for good social media has. Thank you to all those involved, you have helped change a mans life.”

Police have not given details of the device used by the attacker, who died in the blast along with 22 of his victims, but Jones said he saw injuries he believed were caused by nails.

Instinct to help people

"We are human, we still have a heart, we still have that instinct to help people out that need help and that's what we are doing. And obviously when we are seeing children like that, with blood and, pulling nails out of their arms and stuff, and there were a couple in a girl's face," he said.

"It was children, a lot of children with blood all over them, crying and screaming. If I didn't help, I wouldn't be able to live with myself for walking away and leaving kids like that."

"We wiped blood from children's faces. I mean, one little girl, she was covered in blood. Her mom was screaming so some guy was coming at her, took the little girl's t-shirt off her, and it was someone else's blood shed on her."

Jones described how he and a friend held the legs up of a woman who was severely bleeding while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. "We thought she was just going to bleed right out."

Crowdfunders rush to help

His selflessness has not been lost on social media where one woman set up an account on the charity fundraising site Just Giving, which quickly doubled the target of $650.

Jones' account and actions will raise the spotlight on Manchester's growing homeless problem. The newly elected mayor of Manchester, Andy Burnham, has pledged to donate 15 per cent of his salary to a homeless charity.

Jones said a lot of homeless people sleep rough by the Manchester Arena where the attack happened.

WCPO contributed to this report.