Anthony Delgado, foreground, in red shirt, helps distribute food to families in May.

Want more inspiring, positive news? Sign up for The Good Stuff, a newsletter for the good in life. It will brighten your inbox every Saturday morning.

CNN  — 

Anthony Delgado got dropped off at a train station in Doraville, Georgia, after an argument with his cousin. That’s when he began his journey as a drug-addicted homeless person.

“I did a lot of bad things,” Delgado said.

Crack was his drug of choice and he panhandled on the streets of Atlanta to feed the habit.

What he didn’t know at the time was that years later he would have his own charity across the street from the very train station where it all started.

Delgado says he looks at the station today and thinks, “God has a sense of humor.”

The turning point came when he was sitting at a Greyhound bus station in winter and had just smoked some crack. He wasn’t feeling well. That’s when he says a man and woman came up to him and told him he should go to the VA hospital. He followed them, flinging the bus station door open roughly and drawing the attention of some police officers standing outside. The police told him to calm down and he said, “I’m sorry officer, I was just trying to catch that couple going out the door.” But the police said they didn’t see anyone. Others nearby hadn’t seen the couple either, according to Delgado.

He walked down to the local park and started panhandling. His chest was bothering him. A man stopped and he asked him for help getting to the VA hospital. The man walked him to the train station and gave him a token. “I stepped on the train, turned around, and I was gonna say thank you,” but the man was gone.

Delgado made it to the hospital. He joined a rehab program and got help from a pastor. When Delgado told him the story of the vanishing couple and the man who gave him the train token, the pastor said, “Believe it or not, there are angels.”

He got a job and began to get back on his feet. After a church service about obedience, Delgado took bags of bread to the spot where he used to sleep on the streets. “It was very emotional. I saw the same people after a year, the same people I slept next to.” Within 45 minutes all the bread and pastries were gone. “As I was driving back, I started crying. Thank you, Father God, I found my purpose in life.”

Now Delgado has seven employees, two buildings, 17 freezers and two trucks in the organization he founded. I Care Atlanta, Inc. is a nonprofit devoted to ending homelessness by reaching out to the working poor and homeless men, women, and children in metro Atlanta and surrounding communities, its website states.

Delgado says his group partners with several local police departments and businesses. Retail stores donate food and money and police direct people in need to Delgado so he can help find them shelters or other resources.

“The way it’s been, this pandemic is so tight for us, but we seem to manage to make our payments. We’re struggling right now. We’re feeding so many people. We give out and God fills us back up.”

I Care Atlanta partnered with local  police for a Christmas for Kids event.

Delgado says he’s seen a significantly higher demand for food and shelter since the coronavirus pandemic hit. He says many people don’t have unemployment checks and he worries that when rent forgiveness ends, there will be an uptick in homelessness. He says he feeds about 400 people in one day.

I Care Atlanta also has a GED training center, financial planning center, and during the holiday season they’re giving out brand new toys to dozens of kids as well as holding food drives.

When asked what ordinary people can do to help the homeless, Delgado advises not to give money directly to them but to give food or talk with them and have a coffee. He also recommends telling people to call their local United Way for assistance getting the resources they need.

He says that when he was homeless, he saw the best and worst in people. He was pushed, kicked and spit on by some. But there were others who would give rides, pay for a hotel, or buy sandwiches. He warns that people should also be cautious about safety, though when offering rides and things like that.

And it’s not just people on the streets who need help. “If you can help your neighbor or help somebody you know that doesn’t have anything, it’s reasonable to go buy them food. It’s not gonna really break you,” he says.

“We all need to help each other. We’re in a bad state right now. We don’t know what’s happening one day to the next … Open your heart. Help your neighbor. Don’t be selfish. This me, me, me attitude is not gonna get us anywhere. It’s just not.”

If you would like to donate to Anthony Delgado’s organization you can click here.