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Homeless man who hadn’t had bath for 2 years ‘cries’ after night at luxury hotel

A luxury hotel in Leeds city centre gifted eight homeless people a night at the hotel after a business made a cancellation and didn't want the rooms to go unused.

The rough sleepers were given access to a proper bed, and their own private bathroom at the Malmaison Leeds – for the first time in years.

A man who normally lives in a tent was among those gifted a room for the night – and it left him quite emotional.

The charity Homeless Street Angels told how he had “not stopped smiling” since arriving at the hotel yesterday.

Becky Joyce, co-founder and director of Homeless Street Angels told LeedsLive: "They got to feel human for once and enjoy a bit of luxury. I wish we could do it every night.

"One of our guys, he sleeps in a tent under the canal normally – he texted me at half seven this morning to tell me he'd had three baths and one shower already. He told me he actually felt like a human being."

Homeless Street Angels were preparing for their usual Thursday night outreach when they were contacted by Malmaison Leeds hotel.

Eight rooms had been reserved by the company Sodexo Circles, but when they realised they no longer needed them and made a last-minute cancellation.

Instead of letting the rooms go to waste, Sodexo asked the hotel to give the rooms to the homeless people in need.

The charity rounded up eight of the people they work with and brought them to Malmaison for a night of luxury.

Becky said the staff at Malmaison treated their new guests exactly as they would treat any other.

She said: "One of the guys normally sleeps in a dilapidated house and hasn't had a bath in two years – he was crying on the phone when we told him.

"It was like a Christmas miracle. They were all so excited.

"It was so nice when we got there – Celeste on the front desk was talking to them like paying customers and never let them feel awkward at all.”

Once the guests were set up in their rooms they were given clean clothing and a hot meal as part of the outreach programme – and then breakfast the next morning.

"It gives them a chance to get in a nice warm bed, to watch TV, to have a bath," Becky said.

"We went back to check on them because we'd forgotten to tell them that all the tea and coffee was in the room, but six out of eight of them were already in the bath!

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"Some of them hadn't been able to wash properly for a while so just to get a warm bath and put clean clothes on rather than ones they've had to wear for weeks.

"It's just a complete change of scenery for them and a bit of luxury for one night."

Sara Hargraves, general manager at Malmaison Leeds, said: “We are incredibly humbled to have been able to offer these eight rooms and a warm night’s stay to our local community, with special thanks going to the Homeless Street Angels charity for helping us coordinate.

"We were more than happy to accommodate Sodexo’s generous request when they realised the rooms were no longer needed and thrilled that they were occupied by some of our locals in need in the community, all of whom were polite and a pleasure to have stayed with us.”

Michael Fildes, managing director for Sodexo Circles, UK & Ireland said: “Due to the last-minute cancellation of an internal event for which we had booked rooms at the Malmaison Leeds Hotel for our team members, we wanted to ensure that those rooms were utilised so after speaking with the hotel management, we contacted local charity Homeless Street Angels which provide food and outreach services to vulnerable people on the streets in Leeds City centre, to see if they would accept the donation of these rooms.

"Sodexo is a business which delivers services across the country and we are committed to supporting local communities in which we operate, we are pleased that we have been able to provide these eight individuals with at least one night of safety and comfort.”

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