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September 18, 2018

Homeless man mocked on Twitter for shaving on NJ Transit was just trying to look 'presentable'

Anthony Torres has struggled to make ends meet for years, he told the Associated Press

Homelessness Social Media
NJ Transit train Adam E. Moreira/via Wikipedia

A NJ Transit train is seen here entering a station in New Brunswick, N.J.

A man mocked on social media for shaving on a NJ Transit train was just trying to clean up after spending some time in a homeless shelter, he told the Associated Press.

Anthony Torres, 56, and his family approached the AP to tell his story after they learned people on social media were making fun of Torres for shaving on the train, calling him an "animal," and "nasty." 

The original video was posted to Twitter (which has since been deleted) received more than 2.4 million views. The man who posted the video while riding the Northeast Corridor line train on NJ Transit told "it's right up there with the strangest things I've seen for sure."

But Torres says he was shaving because he was staying in a shelter in New York City and was on his way to a family member's house in New Jersey and wanted to look "presentable," he told the AP. 

 “My life is all screwed up. That’s the reason I was shaving on the train," he said.

Torres grew up in Hammonton, Atlantic County, and has worked a number of jobs and has spent years living in shelters, sleeping in motels, on the streets, in bus depots. 

Torres' brother Thomas Torres said he showed up at his New Jersey home asking for a sleeping bag to spend the night under a bridge. 

"For so many years, he’s lived this way and I feel sorry for him. It’s hard to see the life that he’s lived,” Thomas Torres told the AP.

Now, a GoFundMe has been started to help Torres get back on his feet. As of Tuesday morning, 268 people had donated more than $7,200. The campaign's goal is set at $15,000. 

“Maybe people will have more feeling knowing what this kid’s been through,” Thomas Torres said.

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