AN internet movement aimed at helping the homeless made it to Blackburn in the form of a mobile soup kitchen.
Dozens of strangers braved gale force winds and freezing temperatures to help homeless people in Burnley last month - after being inspired by a single message on Facebook.
And at 8.30pm on Wednesday night, in a car park opposite Blackburn Fire Station, kindhearted well-wishers carrying donations of clothing, hot drinks and hot food donated by the Bombay Lounge, in Barrowford, met to help out.
Wes Hall, 31, travelled from Burnley to help out and said he had discovered people sleeping rough close to the car park.
He said: “They sleep in the old fire station, breaking in around the back. My background is quite bad and the reason I got involved is because I’ve experienced homelessness myself.
“I was kicked out at 15, and I recently built up my own business and everything was going well. Then my relationship broke down and I was living in my office.”
One of the men Wes helped was 39-year-old couch surfer Michael Williams, who spoke of his gratitude.
He said: “I’m really grateful. I feel quite intimidated because I like providing for myself. I feel awful but I’m really struggling.”
Mr Williams said he went to rehab for seven months to kick his alcohol habit, but relapsed after returning to a hostel in the town where drink and drugs were rife.
He is now sleeping at a friend’s house and surviving on handouts.
His friend, David Curry, said he ended up on the streets after becoming addicted to alcohol.
The 56-year-old said: “I have 23 children and I don’t get to see them. I used to have 24 drinks a day without any food.”
He was given a jacket and a ‘onesie’ to wear, and a non-alcoholic Mojito cocktail drink.
The ‘Help The Homeless’ project, born from a single message posted online by Nelson man Liam Canning has helped highlight both the plight suffered by the misfortunate, and the heroics of the dozens of Good Samaritans helping them.
A group set up on Facebook has now attracted almost 1,500 members since going online in mid-February, and drop-off points have been established at Pendle Games and the Lord Nelson pub, both in Nelson.
To get involved, visit www.facebook.com/help.the.homeless.east.lancs