homeless shelter, homeless project, raise the roof homeless project

Raise the Roof Homeless Project

Christmas is a time of peace and goodwill.

Unfortunately, the message of love and peace has completely bypassed one hotel.

Carl Simpson, of Raise the Roof Homeless Project decided to pay £1,092  of his own money to give homeless people a room at the Royal Hotel in Hull.

But the hotel had other ideas and once they learned that the rooms would be occupied by the homeless, they promptly cancelled the bookings.

Raise the Roof told the BBC it booked 14 twin rooms for 28 people in twin rooms – hoping to build on the success of last year’s event at another hotel called the Ibis.

It said The Royal Hotel originally accepted the booking, and that it had not attempted to conceal the guests’ backgrounds.

“We told them up front they were for homeless people,” Mr Simpson said. “They were fine with that.”

A spokesperson for the hotel said they had been warned by a “former project worker” not to take the booking.

It claimed that this unnamed project worker told them that the homeless people had trashed the hotel, stolen goods and started fires at the IBIS hotel last year.

However, the IBIS hotel emphatically denied the allegations and said that it did not recognize any of those claims.

In other words, the Royal Hotel appears to be making up those allegations.

Furthermore, in a statement to the BBC, the IBIS hotel said: “We can confirm that we welcomed a group of homeless people for two nights last Christmas booked by Raise the Roof Homeless Project, and that the organisers felt the stay was very successful.

“We don’t recognise any allegations that these guests caused serious problems such as fire or theft in the hotel.”

One of the homeless people who attended the Ibis hotel last year told the BBC: “It was the best Christmas present you could get, really. It’s such a relief to be off the streets even for that one night.

In a Facebook post on Saturday evening, Mr Simpson said he had been hoping to repeat “the success of last Christmas” when he was able to book 28 people into an Ibis hotel for two nights.

“After the stay they were so grateful. Some left staff gifts using the very little money they had, and one asked if he could vacuum the rooms to show his appreciation.

“This means the world to homeless people. Last year we had tears of joy from someone who stood on the edge of the Humber Bridge the night before. We have to break the news to people that the hotel has been cancelled.”

Mr Simpson said he was yet to receive a refund for the booking, and so was unable to rebook another hotel, adding: “We need a miracle.”

He said he relied on donations to make the original booking and he was worried whether the number of rooms needed could be found elsewhere at an affordable price.

Since Mr Simpson’s original Facebook post, the news of the cancelled booking has been shared by more than 1,000 people and online fundraising for the group has received a £6,000 boost.

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