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These Builders Stopped Their Christmas Night Out to Put a Homeless Woman up in a Hotel

A trio of builders interrupted their work Christmas night out to help a 71-year-old woman after they found her sleeping on the streets of Bristol.

The woman was trying to shelter from the near-freezing temperatures, surrounded by her belongings in plastic bags. 

The “vulnerable” woman told the group of friends that she had been sleeping rough in Bristol for the past 18 years. 

So, unable to leave her without helping, the group of friends decided to interrupt their Christmas night out to get the woman a hotel room for the night. 

Take action: Help the Most Marginalised and Vulnerable Find Shelter

“I saw this woman and she looked very fragile… and had nowhere to go,” said one of the group, Roger Hartigan. “We gave her some money and some cigarettes and we tried to hire her a taxi to take her to a hotel but none would stop.” 

“So some of the guys ran ahead to find a hotel with a spare room and I walked with her through the centre of town, carrying her stuff,” he added. 

Read more: How to Help If You See Someone Sleeping Rough This Winter

“Then one of the lads called to say they’d found a room in a hotel opposite the Hippodrome,” he said. “We walked her there and checked her in.” 

The group, which also included Hartigan’s colleagues Joe Rich and David Harrison, paid £145 between them for her to stay at a four-star hotel in the city.

Read more: This London Train Station Will Become a Homeless Shelter on Christmas Day

“She was just so vulnerable — there was no way I could leave her,” continued Hartigan. “I think she was a bit shocked at what was happening when I said we’d find her a hotel, but I reassured her we weren’t taking the mick. We just wanted to make sure she was safe.” 

He added: “Once we saw her, she became our priority.” 

Read more: Thousands of People Slept in a Freezing Scottish Park for a Brilliant Reason

More than 9,000 people are sleeping rough in Britain, according to report released by the Public Accounts Committee this week. 

Over 78,000 households, including 120,000 children, are homeless and living in temporary accommodation, which is often of a poor standard, according to the report. 

Read more: A Selfless Act Earned Him $400K — Now This Homeless Man Is Giving It Away

The number of people sleeping rough in Britain has increased by 134% since 2011, added the report, while there has been a 60% rise in the number of households in temporary accommodation. 

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