Fundraiser for Sheffield man left homeless due to Covid passes £1,500 target in hours

A homeless man, who lost his job as a chef due to the pandemic, will soon get back on his feet with a roof over his head thanks to the generous Sheffield community.

By Rahmah Ghazali
Friday, 18th December 2020, 2:31 pm

Gary Hutton, of Nether Edge, said he noticed the man – who is only known as Michael – has been sitting outside a local supermarket for the past four weeks.

According to him, Michael had lost everything when he was made redundant as he was not eligible for any assistance.

He said Michael revealed that he was a trained chef with four years experience when his friend and cafe owner Johnny Dean struck up a conversation with him.

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A trained chef for four years, Michael had lost his job due to the pandemic and became homeless. Picture by Gary Hutton

Gary, who owns a pizza restaurant in Nether Edge, said that's when he thought that Michael could be fit to take up some of the shifts at his workplace.

He said: "I thought I'd go and talk to him about his chef experience and see if he wants shifts with us that would help him.

"So I chatted with him yesterday about how he felt, and he said he would love to do it but he was living in a tent and it would be very difficult for him to arrive at work appropriately dressed.

"I know he's mentally in a good place. He doesn't drink, he's not taking drugs. He's very clear headed."

He said that was when both Johnny and he decided to set up a fundraising page for Michael so he could put in for a deposit and a bond for a flat.

"We'd like to see if the community can get together and help Michael to get a roof over his head and maybe he can feel like he's in a better place to go and work."

And the response, he said, has been fantastic.

They have so far raised £1,895 in less than 12 hours, exceeding their £1,500 target.

"It's unbelievable that we managed to raise this much in less than 12 hours since the page was set up."

Gary said he would get in touch with a shelter for advice and will help Michael open a bank account to help him with the deposit so the funds are properly used.

"He was so overjoyed yesterday when I mentioned this plan. He was really, extremely grateful and really happy.”

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