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Roofers 246Giving a homeless person a chance

In the summer of 2017, some roofing contractors working for Empire Upvc and Roofing based in north London spotted a homeless man sleeping on a bench close to their latest job. 

Wanting to do something to help, the group of roofers offered to buy the man some tea. He accepted the offer of a warming drink but asked if they might need some help with their roofing job one morning. While the Empire workmen were surprised by the stranger's offer they nevertheless decided to give him a chance so told him to meet them at the address the next day. They'd find him some work to do.

Early the following morning they were surprised to see that the homeless man had arrived before they had. Understandably, the work party welcomed the extra pair of hands to help them and the homeless man, whose name is John, worked non-stop carrying roof tiles, bags of waste and equipment around looking more than content to be able to help his new friends.

One of the workmen, posted the story on Facebook that day and it went viral and several national newspapers picked it up.

The roofers treated John to a burger meal for his lunch for and they indicated that it was only fair for him to be paid a decent wage for his morning's work before he went on his way. John said that £15 or £20 would be just enough to get him through the week but the workmen had other ideas. They had a quick cash collection among themselves and gave John £70.

After gratefully receiving the cash John didn't simply disappear. He asked if it was possible to help again and the roofers asked him to return on another day. John departed with the comment, "Thanks! This is the most love I've ever had."

Empire management posted the following on their Facebook page after all the coverage. "We can't believe how this selfless gesture from the Empire team has gone so far. Just an update for you all - we have had several messages from members of the public offering to house John and now also newspapers are offering to help. As I've already said we couldn't be prouder of the team, well done boys! Your kind gesture has definitely not gone unnoticed and you should be proud of yourselves!"

Could you offer a homeless person some work to do?

See also previous blog 'A sign that read: “Want a Job. Anything Helps.”' 

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Geoff Knott, 05/02/2019

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