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Hotel cancels Christmas Day booking for homeless Hotel cancels Christmas Day booking for homeless
(35 minutes later)
Homeless people in Hull have faced "discrimination" according to a local group, after a hotel cancelled their Christmas booking.Homeless people in Hull have faced "discrimination" according to a local group, after a hotel cancelled their Christmas booking.
The hotel claim the booking was refused because of damage caused during a previous booking at a separate hotel. The hotel claims the booking was refused because of damage caused during a previous booking at a separate hotel.
Carl Simpson, from Raise the Roof Homeless Project, had organised accommodation for 28 homeless people in a hotel over Christmas.Carl Simpson, from Raise the Roof Homeless Project, had organised accommodation for 28 homeless people in a hotel over Christmas.
He told the BBC he paid £1,092 for 14 twin rooms at the Royal Hotel in Hull.He told the BBC he paid £1,092 for 14 twin rooms at the Royal Hotel in Hull.
"We told them up front they were for homeless people," he said. "They were fine with that.""We told them up front they were for homeless people," he said. "They were fine with that."
"It's got to be a case of discrimination," he said."It's got to be a case of discrimination," he said.
A spokesperson for the hotel said the company had been warned by a former project worker not to take the booking.A spokesperson for the hotel said the company had been warned by a former project worker not to take the booking.
"We received a call from a lady... who worked for the charity last year," the spokesperson said."We received a call from a lady... who worked for the charity last year," the spokesperson said.
"She had rung to warn us that the group had caused serious problems at the Ibis and that she felt we should not take the booking."She had rung to warn us that the group had caused serious problems at the Ibis and that she felt we should not take the booking.
"Among the issues last year were trashing of rooms, fires, theft of hotel goods and property and damage to property."Among the issues last year were trashing of rooms, fires, theft of hotel goods and property and damage to property.
"The hotel has a number of families and tours staying at the hotel over the Christmas period which we feel would suffer if the booking was taken.""The hotel has a number of families and tours staying at the hotel over the Christmas period which we feel would suffer if the booking was taken."
The spokesperson added that the hotel would reinstate the booking, with conditions.The spokesperson added that the hotel would reinstate the booking, with conditions.
Mr Simpson posted the news on Facebook, where it has been shared by more than 1,000 people. Since then online fundraising for the group has received a £6,000 boost.Mr Simpson posted the news on Facebook, where it 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.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.""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."
'Miracle needed''Miracle needed'
Labour MP in Hull Emma Hardy says: "I am extremely disappointed that these rooms were cancelled at such late notice and that no reason was given.Labour MP in Hull Emma Hardy says: "I am extremely disappointed that these rooms were cancelled at such late notice and that no reason was given.
"Christmas is meant to be the season of goodwill and I would urge the hotel to reverse its decision and honour the original booking."Christmas is meant to be the season of goodwill and I would urge the hotel to reverse its decision and honour the original booking.
"I have written to them and eagerly await their response.""I have written to them and eagerly await their response."
In his Facebook 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 his Facebook 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.
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 NewsBy Victoria Park, UGC & Social News