Community rallies to help homeless man

Jeffrey Donaldson MP
Jeffrey Donaldson MP

Lisburn has proved that it has real community spirit after rallying round to help a homeless man seen sleeping rough in the city.

A Facebook group was set up - Help John in Lisburn - asking people to help the man who had been seen sheltering at the Jet Filling Station on the Ballymacash Road and the men who set up the group have said they are overwhelmed by the support.

Over a thousand people joined the group, with the aim of helping John get back on his feet again.

Writing on Facebook, the organisers of the Help John in Lisburn group, said: “Lisburn is showing their generosity and compassion is overwhelming,”

The local community, and particularly people in the Ballymacash area, were quick to jump to his aid, offering clothing and food.

A group of people even got together and paid for him to spend the night in the Premier Inn.

With the intervention of Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson and his staff, John was placed in temporary accommodation at the Simon Community in Lisburn.

Praising the people of Lisburn for their community spirit, Mr Donaldson said: “I would like to commend the actions of the local community and many individuals who rallied round to support John in his plight.

“It is so reassuring to know so many in our local community are prepared to reach out a hand and help someone who is in need.

“Hopefully now we can help him to find permanent housing accommodation.”

But that is not the end of the story, The people of Lisburn were not content with just providing John with a roof over his head.

People have been offering food and clothing, as well as money and even homeware, with the aim of kitting out John’s new home once he is housed.

The local people who started the Facebook group have also held collections, where anyone with donations of clothes or homeware could leave them for John.

There has also been a Go Fund Me page set up, so that people can donate money to help John pay for his utility bills and living expenses.

Donations can be made online at https://www.gofundme.com/8jagdq2k. Donations can also be made via Paypal by emailing helpjohnlisburn@gmail.com.