A group of friends have helped a homeless man turn his life around...offering him a place to live and even securing him a full time job.

Charlotte Ellis, Taylor Waldon, Bradley Munro and Jenni Kiri have become fast friends with Joey, a man who was once homeless on the streets of London but whose luck has changed since encountering the team of youngsters, securing him a place to live and a job in Southend.

Bradley and his girlfriend Jenni, both 24, offered up the spare room in their home near Eastwood Road, in Rayleigh, after meeting Joey at their friend’s house. Charlotte Ellis and boyfriend Taylor Waldon, both 22 and from Billericay, had brought Joey to Essex after meeting him at the end of a night out in London.

Charlotte said: “All my friends and family initially thought we were crazy but after we introduced them to Joey, they all loved him instantly because he is honestly such a genuine guy.”

After a few days, Bradley approached his boss Grant Cooper at Rylands Associates, an estate management company based in Southend.

When Brad explained to Grant, the managing director of the company, that he had a friend of a friend who had fallen on hard times who was living with him, Grant felt compelled to what he could to help.

Grant said: “It went without saying. Brad is a valued employee and was going out of his way to help someone less fortunate, a value I strongly believe we should promote.

“Joey came across as someone who just needed a hand and I am delighted that I was able to lend one.”

Grant met Joey shortly after and gave him a week’s work in the maintenance team and following his success, he was offered a full-time permanent position which he gladly accepted.

Brad added: “Joey is going to stay with us until he is completely back on his feet. Grant has even offered to help him with a deposit for his own place.

“The best thing that could happen now is for everyone to go out and do the same. My boss got behind this 100 per cent and has now even said he wants to start his own recruitment business for homeless people.”

Joey, 28, said: “It’s just been fantastic. Being on the streets is a scary place and it is hard. But for people to come along and do that for me is amazing. I am just so grateful.

“I absolutely love my new job and being in Rayleigh and it is definitely going to be a permanent move. I hope this makes people realise how easy it is for one gesture to change someone’s life.

“I can understand that some homeless people might look rough and you don’t know what’s going to happen but just giving someone the time of day can make all the difference.”