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Hull hotel cancels homeless people's Christmas day booking Homeless face 'discrimination' in Christmas cancellation
(about 7 hours later)
Homeless people in Hull who were set to stay in hotel rooms over Christmas have had their booking cancelled. Homeless people in Hull have faced "discrimination" according to a local group, after a hotel cancelled their Christmas booking.
Carl Simpson, founder of the Raise the Roof Homeless Project, told the BBC he paid £1,092 for 14 twin rooms at the Royal Hotel in Hull, part of the Britannia Hotels group. Carl Simpson, founder of the Raise the Roof Homeless Project, told the BBC he paid £1,092 for 14 twin rooms at the Royal Hotel in Hull.
In a Facebook post shared by hundreds, Mr Simpson said he was "gutted". "We told them up front they were for homeless people," he said. "They were fine with that. They've not given us a reason. It's got to be a case of discrimination."
Mr Simpson posted the news on Facebook, which has been shared by more than 1,000 people. Since then online fundraising for the group has received a £6,000 boost.
Speaking to the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme he said: "I wasn't really aware we'd reached that. That's amazing. We just need the rooms now.
"There are lots of reasons people become homeless, not just the ones they seem to be labelled with," Mr Simpson said. "We see people from family break-ups and ex-servicemen."
An employee at the Royal Hotel told the BBC on Sunday there was no-one available to comment.An employee at the Royal Hotel told the BBC on Sunday there was no-one available to comment.
Cafe owner Mr Simpson's post has been shared by hundreds, with most people "appalled" and "disgusted" at the decision. 'Miracle needed'
Labour MP Emma Hardy comments on the post: "I'd be happy to contact the hotel about this and appeal to them to reconsider."Labour MP Emma Hardy comments on the post: "I'd be happy to contact the hotel about this and appeal to them to reconsider."
In the post, Mr Simpson says the hotel was told what the rooms would be used for before they were booked and shares the hotel booking confirmation. In the post, Mr Simpson says the hotel was told what the rooms would be used for before they were booked and shares the hotel booking confirmation.
The reason for the cancellation is unclear.
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.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."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."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.""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."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.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.
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Mr Simpson said he had a "huge following" in his local community: "Three years ago my wife was given five days to live.Mr Simpson said he had a "huge following" in his local community: "Three years ago my wife was given five days to live.
"We were granted an emergency wedding in the hospital. I asked the public for help with a wedding dress and the support I got was amazing.""We were granted an emergency wedding in the hospital. I asked the public for help with a wedding dress and the support I got was amazing."
He said he then took a burger van into the city centre to feed the homeless "to give a bit back".He said he then took a burger van into the city centre to feed the homeless "to give a bit back".
"My wife came home after eight months and is still with me but she is very ill.""My wife came home after eight months and is still with me but she is very ill."
The Facebook post has inspired others to try to help the homeless this Christmas.The Facebook post has inspired others to try to help the homeless this Christmas.
Beckie Stewart writes: "Aren't there people willing to bring in one or two on Christmas eve? I'm sleeping over at my mum's so I'm happy to offer a room."Beckie Stewart writes: "Aren't there people willing to bring in one or two on Christmas eve? I'm sleeping over at my mum's so I'm happy to offer a room."
By Victoria Park, UGC & Social news By Victoria Park, UGC & Social news.