If you’ve ever sat at the light at Ellwood and Thompson, chances are you’ve spotted John and his dog Amanda.
It’s a story that will warm even the coldest of hearts this Valentine’s Day weekend. A group of Richmonders is rallying to help a homeless man who spends his days in Carytown get back on his feet after succumbing to a series of challenges.
If you’ve ever sat at the traffic light on the corner of Ellwood and Thompson in Carytown, chances are you might have spotted John McNealy alongside his faithful canine companion Amanda, who accompanies him in the stroller that carries his belongings.
According to CBS6’s Mark Holmberg, whom profiled the man yesterday evening, McNealy fell on hard times after a hit-and-run accident left him with a brain injury and a mountain of debt from the resulting hospital stay. The driver was never found.
Unable to work, McNealy lost his job as a dishwasher at popular Fan bar Sticky Rice, and not long after, his apartment as well.
Two local women who stopped and got to know McNealy have since started a GoFundMe campaign to help him get back on his feet and get he and Amanda find permanent housing.
The funds raised ($3,500 at press time) will help to cover rent and other expenses, and one of the organizers hopes to help McNealy get set up with a job at a local factory.
Photo: Amanda Sanchez