Outpouring of goodwill for Grantham homeless man Jason
A homeless man says he is overwhelmed by the generous response of people since the Journal reported on his desperate situation.
Readers have shown their support for Jason Crowder by posting messages on Facebook, Twitter and the Journal website.
Since the story was published, Mr Crowder has been found accommodation for the Christmas period and many people have said they would like to raise money for him.
An emotional Mr Crowder, who turned 45 on Wednesday, told the Journal this week: “It’s been very overwhelming. I am very grateful to everybody. It’s been very difficult to get my head round it all.”
District and county councillor Charmaine Morgan took up Mr Crowder’s case and, working with South Kesteven District Council and other agencies, managed to get him some short-term accommodation in Grantham.
SKDC was unable to comment further due to confidentiality.
Last week, Mr Crowder thanked all those who had helped him, from handing him a penny to winter clothing. He added: “You have brought back my faith in humanity.”
Touched by his words, Liz Conway said on Facebook this week: “We bought him a jumper and fleece body warmer, socks, a hat and gloves, just to try to help with the cold. He told us he was overwhelmed with the reaction he has received from people and totally choked by all the kindness he has received.
“He gave me a hug and shook my little boy’s hand, God bless him.”
She added: “We always stop to talk to him, buy him a bacon roll and hot chocolate. He is always so polite, never has he ever asked me for money or food. Those people who judge and abuse the homeless should be ashamed of themselves. I hope they never find themselves in the same situation. I hope that someone can help find a place for him to stay and get back on his feet.”
While most people have been supportive of Mr Crowder and have shown that support by giving him food and clothing, a minority have been physically and verbally abusive.
Mr Crowder told the Journal that he had been spat at and kicked. He said: “And to those people who have verbally and physically abused me and spat at me – I hope you never end up where I am because it doesn’t take much to lose all that is dear to you.”
But he added: “Everything has been a fight in my life and all of a sudden all of these people are being so kind.”
It was Mr Crowder’s 45th birthday two day before Christmas. One man gave him pencils and a sketch pad as a present. Meanwhile, Chris Price contacted the Journal to say his eight-year-old daughter and her friends wanted to collect money to help him. They raised £70 and presented Mr Crowder with the gift on his birthday.
After reading about Mr Crowder’s difficulties, many people wished him well and told how they had helped him.
Tricia Bower said: “I’m not so forgiving of those who have abused this man! I hope they hit hard times and feel this man’s pain and anguish. Good luck for the future. I hope someone official sees this and helps you.”
Mandy Cooper said: “Poor bloke. He’s always been so very grateful when I’ve given him a few pounds. Those that abuse and spit at him should be ashamed of themselves.”
Vikki Short said: “ Let’s all pull together to help this man. It could happen to anyone of us.”
Kirsty Winch commented: “I think a group of people should all sit in the council with him until they sort some accommodation and help for him, it’s not fair and so cold, what a fantastic birthday present that would be for him.”
Patrick Clarke said: “I have a new two-man pop-up tent for him if he doesn’t have any other shelter. Nobody should be out on these cold winter nights.”