The Rawtenstall community comes together to help a homeless man find sheltered housing

A caring member of the Rawtenstall community helped find sheltered accommodation for a homeless man to keep him warm this winter.

Last week Rachael Jackson stopped by to speak to a homeless man sleeping under Mannings Bakery on Kay Street, Rawtenstall.

She found that Dave, who asked that his last name not be mentioned, suffered from alcohol addiction and had also been hospitalized and discharged from hospital due to hypothermia, and had only the clothes on the back.

Kay Street Baptist is one of many churches in the Valley that provide safe, warm and welcoming spaces for all kinds of people each week.

Dave is a regular at the weekly community meal called “Shine” and the “Hope Cafe” on Tuesday mornings.

The call to help Dave on Facebook last week was made by Rachael who comes to Shine.

She said: “Items were donated in the form of tents, sleeping bags, quilts, jackets, fleeces, clothes, shoes, food and drink.”

Over 100 people commented offering their help and anything they could give Dave.

A nurse from Rochdale, Viv Murphy, went to visit Dave and provided him with clothes and warm food.

She said: “He has cool, warm socks, a dry coat and new boots.

“He’s had breakfast and coffee and has a hot lunch. I’m coming home tonight with coffee and a hot water bottle.

“He says he feels safe where he is but I disagree, he needs a room.”

Just three days after Viv visited Dave and appealed to find him a place to live, Rachael shared a positive update.

On Friday, November 4, she said: “He is now in sheltered accommodation for a minimum of 12 weeks. Will also help with his alcohol abuse.

“It’s now up to Dave to accomplish this, to get better and want a better life. Thank you for all the support, help and kind donations from everyone. I will keep everyone updated on the progress of Dave.”

Rachael and other locals have spent the past week visiting Dave to make sure he has enough to eat and drink.

Speaking on the positive power of social media, Rachael said: “Through posting a message on Facebook, awareness of Dave’s situation has been much more widely known.

“The community was already helping him, but it just wasn’t enough at the time. But with this post, the community came together to provide this man with warm clothes, food and a safer, warmer sleeping space, which has allowed him to now be in sheltered accommodation.

“Community spirit has given this man a lifeline to a happier, healthier life. The local community has been very generous in their donations, and I can honestly say that I am proud to live in this small town.

Jonny Hirst, Minister of Kay Street Baptist said: ‘Since then I have met people from other local churches and businesses who have all offered help, provisions and support to this gentleman.

“A week ago he was in bad shape, but in the days after he returned to the streets, he was provided with warmer clothes, sleeping bags, water bottles and a tent by locals and others. who responded on Facebook, which may have just saved his life.

“At the end of last week, with the help of the community, he found emergency accommodation through a charity.

“I am grateful and encouraged by the number of people who have mobilized to support this gentleman.

“But we know he is one of many in desperate circumstances, whom we support in various ways through meals and food hampers, sharing company, listening ears, giving debt advice through the CAP charity and by reporting to other professional agencies, as well as sharing words of hope and encouragement.

About John McTaggart

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