Lifestyle & Human Interest

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A homeless man from the U.K. has a warm bed and a hopeful future thanks to a 31-year-old woman who has taken it upon herself to help him.

Bridie Sawyer, 31, first met George Dickson, 67, at a local Costa coffee shop in Northumberland, England.

Sawyer began talking with Dickson, struck and concerned by the man’s sorrowful demeanor. As time went on, Sawyer felt more and more compelled to help.

She has now rallied community members around Dickson, working to raise money to get the homeless man a sustainable, safe place to live.

“George is a homeless gentleman I met in Costa a few weeks ago. I noticed him because he looked like the saddest man in the world,” Sawyer wrote on the GoFundMe campaign she began on Dickson’s behalf.

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“I spoke to George and found out he was homeless,” Sawyer wrote. “He told me he had come up to Northumberland after leaving the Newcastle area due to anti-social behaviour, threats from others and generally feeling very vulnerable where he had been placed.”

“At 67 I can’t imagine how awful that must have been. I continued to see George on and off and the need to help him grew,” Sawyer said.

“One night I saw him trying to sleep in a cafe doorway and I asked him if he would like somewhere to stay and he’s been with us since.”

Dickson is currently living with Sawyer and her partner, Les Stephenson, where he is able to sleep soundly, shower regularly and enjoy a respite from his life on the streets.

But Sawyer knows the solution is only temporary and wants to see Dickson have a home of his own. She has stepped up to advocate for the man, working to restore the pension benefits he is due.

“He isn’t in the best health and should not be sleeping on the streets now or ever,” Sawyer wrote. “We are currently housing George in a little flat about our garage – he has access to a shower, a bed a TV and everything he needs for now. We are doing what we can but obviously George needs his own home.”

The GoFundMe campaign has raised over £2,000 on Dickson’s behalf as of Saturday morning, more than double the goal Sawyer had initially set.

Dickson is grateful for his new friends and has a newfound hope about his future.

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“I can’t thank Bridie and Les enough,” Dickson told Chronicle Live. “They have restored my faith in human nature.”

“They have given me a room and I like it here, but I would love my own flat where I can have my own key to my own place,” Dickson said.

Dickson is a veteran who was employed in area parks and gardens but can no longer work because of his crippling arthritis. He was living off his weekly pension, but when the benefit suddenly stopped coming, Dickson was forced out of his former home.

Sawyer hopes to make things right for the aging veteran who simply wants to live in safety, away from the drugs and violence of local hostels and temporary shelters.

“He really is a lovely man, he doesn’t deserve this and we just want to get him on his feet,” she said.

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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Lifestyle & Human Interest