A MAN who was homeless is back on the streets – but this time it’s for a good cause.
Anthony Garbett is pulling on his trainers to take part in Sunday’s Great North Run.
The 20-year-old is taking on the half-marathon to help raise £5,000 for Centrepoint, the youth homeless charity that helped him off the streets and into a home of his own.
In 2011, Anthony found himself with nowhere to go after he was forced to leave the accommodation where he was living with his fiancée and her family.
He ended up sleeping rough until Centrepoint helped him turn his life around.
“I moved around different places, sleeping anywhere that was dry,” he said.
“I felt very alone. My mum and dad died when I was young and I didn’t have anyone.
“Life was a struggle before Centrepoint helped me turn my life around. I wouldn’t have known what to do without them.
“I was involved in their Lifewise programme, which helped teach me life skills. I had a key worker, a counsellor and a social worker.
“It’s down to their support that I’m where I am now.”
Anthony stayed at Centrepoint’s Sunderland hostel for eight months before moving out in March and has been living independently ever since.
Having already ran this year’s Sunderland 10K for Centrepoint, he is determined to go the extra mile as part of a 17-strong team and is hoping to raise £5,000 for the charity, which works with a thousand 16 to 25-year-olds in the North East and London every year.
Centrepoint’s development manager Jim Sexton, 61, will be running alongside Anthony and is hoping that his 30 years in the police force, prior to joining Centrepoint two years ago, will stand him in good stead.
He said: “Young people have a hard time. There are more than 80,000 young people who experience homelessness each year.
“These young people are desperately in need of organisations like Centrepoint for support and help.
“Many of them haven’t got a family support structure, are not in education and need help to get their lives back on track.”
To make a donation, visit www.justgiving.com/Jim-Sexton.