Meet Anthony, a man whose life took a dramatic turn he never imagined would happen. Born in Saint Louis, Missouri, Anthony was raised in a well-off family where his father could provide for him and his mother. He had an amazing childhood where he didn’t have to worry about much and had the luxury of being a kid. He now looks back at the life he once had and wishes he would’ve known how incredibly blessed he was in that moment. Now as the 54-year-old man struggles with homelessness, he reminisces on his past and wishes he could go back to a time without worry.

Anthony has always had a passion for music and entertainment. His bubbly and magnetic personality has always drawn others in, with his ability to captivate individuals in just a simple conversation. In hopes of becoming successful in the competitive entertainment industry, he moved out to Burbank, California where he spent a majority of his adult life. For many years, he found success working in both the entertainment and restaurant industry, that was until what he calls “the great fall” happened. When we discussed “the great fall,” he spoke about selling his home and figuring he could camp out for a while. Times got tough and Anthony became tight on money.

Craving a new beginning, Anthony moved to Las Vegas nine months ago in hopes of a comeback. This new journey in a new city forced Anthony to face the harsh reality that people weren’t all that supportive of people pursuing new beginnings. Anthony found himself homeless and struggling in the streets of downtown Las Vegas. For the first time in his life, Anthony met individuals truly in despair, people who did not have the opportunities he did growing up. He found sadness in knowing that some of these individuals were born into instability and homelessness and have remained that way. In the homeless community, there are things many people call “social interruptions,” such as jail, kids, divorce, and substance abuse. Anthony is blessed to not to be interrupted by any of these things and credits the morals his family raised him with. Anthony believes that having a strong moral compass on the streets can keep you out of trouble. Anthony uses his kind personality and love for others to help people even when he can’t seem to help himself.

In times of need, individuals are often referred to large-scale shelters which receive millions of dollars in donations annually. With that much money, you’d assume that the individuals seeking help would receive the proper care, support and respect, but Anthony and many others I’ve met have described their experiences as less than picture perfect. They describe a place where showers and rooms are rarely cleaned and things are always stolen. As an outsider, I have always seen homeless shelters as a safe place for healing, yet those living in them are not seeing the best results. I believe it is time that we start to question these large scale organizations on their true intentions and who they really favor.

Luckily, Anthony has found a safe place to heal at the Care Complex, where he spends his days volunteering to help others who are in need. The Care Complex is a small non-profit organization that works to reconnect individuals struggling with homelessness with family and loved ones. They also offer services to receive new identification cards, clothing, lockers for valuables, and so much more. This small non-profit makes much less in donations and is still providing Anthony with the needed care he deserves. This shows that you do not need millions of dollars to help people in need, you just need human decency and the ability to respect and care for others.

Anthony has a special spirit who lives to serve others even in his time of need. He is kind, yet strong and is constantly working to make others laugh and feel comfortable. He goes out of his way to get to know who visits the Care Complex and makes sure to introduce them to others. He builds community in a place of despair and uses his leadership skills to be the change we all wish to see in the world. He is currently seeking employment to get back on his feet and Can You Spare A Story wants to be a part of that journey. We have found a place here in town where Anthony is going to apply but if anyone else is interested in hiring this incredible man please feel free to reach out to us.

Thanks for Reading,

Syd

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