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Hotel cancels Christmas Day booking for homeless Hotel cancels Christmas Day booking for homeless
(about 2 hours later)
Homeless people in Hull have faced "discrimination" according to a local group, after a hotel cancelled their Christmas booking. A hotel is accused of discriminating against homeless people after cancelling their Christmas booking.
The hotel claims the booking was refused because of damage caused during a previous booking at a separate hotel. Carl Simpson, of Raise the Roof Homeless Project, says he was "gutted" when the Royal Hotel in Hull cancelled the £1,092 booking without explanation.
Carl Simpson, from Raise the Roof Homeless Project, had organised accommodation for 28 homeless people in a hotel over Christmas. The hotel later said the reason was that it had been told about damage to rooms during the group's Christmas booking at an Ibis hotel last year.
He told the BBC he paid £1,092 for 14 twin rooms at the Royal Hotel in Hull. Raise the Roof says the allegations are "lies". Ibis has also denies the claim.
"We told them up front they were for homeless people," he said. "They were fine with that." Raise the Roof told the BBC it booked 14 twin rooms for 28 people in twin rooms - hoping to build on the success of last year's event at the Ibis.
"It's got to be a case of discrimination," he said. You may also be interested in:
A spokesperson for the hotel said the company had been warned by a former project worker not to take the booking. It said The Royal Hotel originally accepted the booking, and that it had not attempted to conceal the guests' backgrounds.
"We told them up front they were for homeless people," Mr Simpson said. "They were fine with that."
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. The Ibis chain told the BBC it did not recognise the allegations. In a statement, it said:
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. "We can confirm that we welcomed a group of homeless people for two nights last Christmas booked by Raise the Roof Homeless Project, and that the organisers felt the stay was very successful. We don't recognise any allegations that these guests caused serious problems such as fire or theft in the hotel."
"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." One of the homeless people who attended the Ibis hotel last year told the BBC: "It was the best Christmas present you could get really. It's such a relief to be off the streets even for that one night."
'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. In a Facebook post on Saturday evening, 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.
"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."
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.
"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.
You may also be interested in: Since his Mr Simpson's original Facebook post, the news of the cancelled booking where it has been shared by more than 1,000 people and online fundraising for the group has received a £6,000 boost.
Mr Simpson said he had a "huge following" in his local community: "Three years ago my wife was given five days to live. Speaking to the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme earlier, he said: "I wasn't really aware we'd reached that. That's amazing. We just need the rooms now.
"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." "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."
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."
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