SULPHUR SPRINGS, Texas - A best-selling novelist is helping to write a new chapter for a North Texas 20-year-old who became homeless when he was only 15.
When the author wrote about Anthony's story, his GoFundMe page raised nearly $70,000 in just a single da
Anthony lives in Sulphur Springs, just east of Dallas. It's in the small Hopkins County town that Anthony has finally found his family.
Marsha Taylor first met Anthony about two years ago when she was setting up her store, The Secret Garden.
“I would see the light from The Square, which was the light from his computer,” she recalled. “I thought this kid has no place to go."
Turns out Anthony had found that computer in a dumpster and fixed it. Anthony does not like the spotlight but was willing to chat with FOX 4 at one of his favorite spots.
At first, Anthony told people he was living with his grandmother. Just about everyone in town knew him because he was always so helpful.
When Anthony saw Joel Williams moving in, he stepped up.
“He said, ‘You look like you could use some help,’” recalled Williams. “I was very thankful.”
Best-selling novelist Colleen Hoover met Anthony at her charitable bookstore downtown.
“There is not a lot you can do when someone is not willing to open up,” she said.
Eventually, they got his story out of him. Anthony said he was abandoned by his mother when he was just 15 years old. He tried but wasn't able to finish high school.
“He would be working for me sweeping floors, anything I could find for him to do,” Taylor said. “And he would fall asleep.”
With no birth certificate or social security card, it's taken months. But Hoover and others in the small-knit community managed to get Anthony an ID. He’s now working on his GED.
To help Anthony get a place to live and go to college, Hoover set up a GoFundMe page.
“Within 50 minutes, they had met the $5,000 goal,” she said.
And within 24 hours, people gave $69,000 and a show of support that proves Anthony’s story can now have a different ending.