A ROUGH sleeper says he has managed to turn his life around after being homeless for most of his life.

Anthony Scott was sitting on the street begging when the Lancashire Telegraph first spoke to him at Christmas, but now has a place to stay and busks during his free time with a friend.

He is also looking for work.

Mr Scott has been in Blackburn for 17 years, after moving around the country since become homeless at the age of 15.

The 48-year-old had missed an appointment with the job centre to apply for financial help, but things have since been looking up.

He said: “Things have changed since then. I was homeless and had nothing, and it was a bad place to be in where I didn’t know what would happen to me.

“Since the article though, more people have noticed me. There were people who started talking to me and giving me gifts. Somebody even gave me a guitar and that’s what I use now for busking with my friend.”

Mr Scott says he is in a better place mentally than he was at Christmas. Back then he was homeless and mourning the loss of his friend, Andrew Davie, who died outside Boots in Blackburn last November.

He had said they were street brothers and had moved around together, going from place to place to find somewhere to call home.

At the time, Mr Scott said he no longer wanted that life and did not want to die on the streets. But not everyone has been as supportive.

He said: “Some people have been horrible, asking why they should help me, but most people are really nice, and they showed me the paper, and helped me.

“It’s a made a difference that people saw me and noticed me. I’m surrounded by good people too, and it’s been good for me. I’m grateful for the help I get now, and I play my guitar.”

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If anyone needs help or assistance with the issue of homelessness, they can go to the Salvation Army on Vicar Street in Blackburn.

The Salvation Army help those who need it by providing places to stay on a night-by-night basis to rough sleepers and helping to ensure their safety at a time where homelessness is on a rise.

Partnered with Blackburn Council, the Salvation Army offers Bramwell House as a place to stay through the winter months and works with individuals to help get them off the streets.