Bridie Sawyer, 31, met veteran George Dickson, 67, in Costa Coffee, saying that he looked like the “saddest man in the world.” Bridie spoke to George and found out he was homeless. “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,” she says.
According to the 31-year-old, George was temporarily accommodated by the council in Newcastle, but he felt unsafe and there were drugs and violence as well. Bridie continued to see George on and off, and her need to help him grew. One night, the 67-year-old was seen sleeping outside a cafe doorway. Bridie asked him if “he would like somewhere to stay,” as he was not in his best health and he should not be sleeping on the streets.
|Photo Credit: Mirror|
George is now living with Bridie and her partner, Les Stephenson, in their garage where the elderly man has access to basic needs and a shower. The couple is doing whatever they can to give George his own house. Bridie explains, “I have spoken to some lovely organisations today but we come back to the same thing - they can’t guarantee a permanent place for George or a suitable one and I really don’t want him to end up in a hostel type place again in the same situation he was in before.”
|Photo Credit: Chronicle Live WS (via Mirror)|
She hopes to raise enough money to get George started “with a month’s rent or two” before living on his own. Bridie adds, “We want to get him a permanent home and we have been talking with private landlords, one of which is very understanding and wants no deposit.” She created a GoFundMe page to raise £800 ($984). However, the amount skyrocketed to £1,500 ($1846) thanks to the community’s generosity.
The money will go to George’s rent until he gets his benefits, as well as an agency to stand in as a guarantor. Now, Bridie and Lars are requesting people to donate a bed, cutlery, furniture, and the like to help the veteran set up his new home. George expresses his gratitude to the couple, “I can’t thank Bridie and Les enough. They have restored my faith in human nature.”