Homeless put up in hotel for Christmas

Shane Hartley and Gary Linton from Invicted Ltd have raised money by selling periodical booklets enabling them to house 10 homeless people over Christmas at the Osborne House Hotel.  Pictured with them is hotel manager David Smith (centre)
Shane Hartley and Gary Linton from Invicted Ltd have raised money by selling periodical booklets enabling them to house 10 homeless people over Christmas at the Osborne House Hotel. Pictured with them is hotel manager David Smith (centre)
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A big-hearted Blackpool hotelier has offered to take 10 homeless people off the streets for Christmas.

David Smith will provide a roof over their heads and warm meals to individuals who may otherwise face spending the festive period on the streets.

Money has been raised to fund the venture by Blackpool-based pals Shane Hartley and Gary Linton.

Around £1,000 has been raised which will cover the cost of providing food and shelter for three days between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day.

David, who is manager of the Osborne House Hotel on Reads Avenue in the resort, said; “This is our first Christmas at the hotel and we were just going to have family over.

“But then Shane approached me and I just thought it was a really great idea.

“We’re doing it all at cost price and have got lots of volunteers to help us out on Christmas Day.

“It is sad to think some people might be out on the streets over Christmas.

“When we told the homeless people what we were doing for them, they were amazed and said they can’t believe we are doing this for them.

“They said not many hotels in Blackpool would let them through the door never mind invite them to come and stay for three days.

“But we’re all human and I think this is a really worthy cause.”

David, who runs the hotel with his partner Terrence McCarthy, originally intended to host the homeless people for two nights but extended it to three.

Eight homeless people have already been identified to stay at the hotel through the Comfort Zone project at North Shore Methodist Church, with another two expected to come over from Manchester.

They will also receive Christmas hampers which have been provided by Blackpool charity Care and Share.

Former soldier Shane has raised money with his friend Gary by selling pamphlets and wristbands in towns and cities around the UK.

Shane said: “Particularly at Christmas it is sad that people are homeless.

“I’ve been in the army and sometimes you see veterans who are out on the street.

“I don’t understand why people who have fought for their country are on the streets, or that anyone is on the streets.

“What David is doing by opening his hotel up to them is fantastic.”