Bench man Barrie to help his fellow homeless people

editorial image

A homeless man who slept on a railway bench for ten months has become a Good Samaritan to hundreds of other people in need.

Barrie Byrne was one of dozens of cold and hungry people who queued for a bed and hot meal when the city’s Winter Night Shelter project opened its doors last December.

This week the 49-year-old is back at the charity-run shelter. But this time he is a fully-fledged and competent volunteer.

“My life has turned round completely. I have a roof over my head, food and warmth –and it’s all thanks to the shelter.

“The council wouldn’t do anything all the time I was sleeping rough but the shelter staff gave me the first month’s rent and deposit for my own flat. It was amazing, so I want to give something back to say thank you,” he said.

The project, run by four staff and 350 volunteers, offers accommodation for the homeless between December and March each year.

It is one of several charities and organisations backed by the MK Community Foundations Surviving Winter campaign, which is now appealing for donations for this year through its Just Giving page.

Former house husband Barrie, rendered homeless after a divorce, is urging people to give what they can.