Hotel refuses to let homeless people stay after charity books rooms for them for Christmas
The Raise the Roof Hull Homeless Project was left in a panic after the Royal Hotel canceled claiming they had received reports of bad behavior by the homeless at another hotel
Carl Simpson, the founder of The Raise the Roof Hull Homeless Project, a fundraising organization that aims to put a roof over the city's homeless, wanted to give the homeless a Christmas they would not forget. So, he and the group managed to raise £1,000 ($1,268) and booked 14 twin rooms at the Royal Hotel in the city for Christmas Eve and Christmas in the hope these people wouldn't have to spend the holidays cold and lonely.
But just nine days before the booked dates, he was abruptly informed by the hotel's management that they could not honor the bookings and that he would have to find the homeless a new place to stay. The situation left organizers in a "mad panic," though another local hotel would step in to save the day.
According to the Daily Mail, DoubleTree by Hilton called up the organization to offer them rooms on the same nights, and it would turn out even better than expected. The group checked in on Monday afternoon, and to mark Christmas, were served a delicious Turkey dinner.
Simpson, who revealed that the homeless people were very excited to spend Christmas under a warm roof, said he was "devastated" on hearing the news of the Royal Hotel's cancellation, but added that DoubleTree had managed to "restore his faith in humanity."
"These people, when we told them that they would have a roof over their head at Christmas and that they'd be getting dinner, their faces just lit up," he said. "The thought of then having to tell them that the hotel had been canceled was horrible, so it left us in a mad panic to get the situation sorted."
He continued, "Then we were contacted by the DoubleTree, and I just couldn't believe what they were offering. The generosity they showed in stepping in to help at the eleventh hour is incredible, it restores faith in humanity."
The Mail reported that, when asked why they had not honored the booking, a spokesman for the Royal Hotel's owners, Britannia Hotels, said they had received reports of bad behavior at another hotel where Raise the Roof had booked rooms for the homeless last year.
However, Simpson rubbished the claims and said the guests had even cleaned up for themselves and left presents for the staff, adding that the Royal Hotel didn't even have the courtesy of offering a refund after bailing on them.
He also explained why the organization had gone out of their way to ensure these people did not spend Christmas cold and alone, suggesting that "Christmas day on the streets is the worst thing that you can imagine."
"Being sat there, lonely and cold, just makes people reflect on what they've lost, the family that they could have been with, the home they could have been living in," he said. "It's for those reasons that the suicide rate among the homeless is so high at this time of year, it's one of the hardest times for them. To know that these guys won't be facing that this year is wonderful, and it's what Christmas is all about."