Homeless man who built shack by side of church helped by good Samaritans
A HOMELESS man is being helped by churchgoers after sleeping rough in freezing temperatures.
Colin Blower, 47, travelled from London to Beverley before building a shack from wooden doors and pallet cases at the side of Goole Parish Church.
The community has rallied round and donated food parcels and he has now managed to secure a two-man tent, which he slept in when temperatures plummeted to minus 8C.
Reverend Rob Taylor, from the church, said: "It's always heartening to see people come together to help those in need, but it's a tragedy that there are those who fall on hard times.
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"He's causing no harm to anyone and we don't have an issue with him being outside the church, but it would be better for him to find somewhere to live."
A good Samaritan, who helped him pitch the tent after someone destroyed his shelter, said the community has been keeping an eye on him.
The 49-year-old Goole man said: "He just appeared one Sunday and people saw him as they walked into the church.
"Colin wasn't told to move on and I went over and spoke to him and got him a cup of coffee.
"He told me he had travelled about and been on a waiting list for a house for five years and he'd been to Goole before.
"Obviously, he's been struggling and has a few problems but he's trying and even took the doors and pallets back to a nearby building site because he didn't want to leave a mess."
The man said Colin had enough money to buy a tent and he helped him pitch it next to the church to give him a bit more shelter as the snow piled up around him.
He said: "I wanted to make sure he had it fixed up properly and helped him clear up.
"He even asked the builders nearby if they had any work. Colin is really trying to get back on his feet and sort his Jobseeker's Allowance out, as well as find somewhere to live."
Spending his days trying to get warm, he has begged for food and drink and been given supplies by members of the community, including churchgoers from both Goole Parish Church and Mission Trinity, which runs a drop-in-centre every Friday evening.
The sessions aim to get homeless people off the streets and into more permanent accommodation, as well as providing them with food parcels, extra clothes and blankets.
Rev Taylor said: "I think the work Mission Trinity does is excellent and it's not just people from the methodist church who volunteer, it's people from all over Goole.
"Not only have they helped this man but, they help people in similar situations every week which is important, especially in the winter."
David Sample, who volunteers with Mission Trinity, said more than 47 people went along last Friday to Trinity Methodist Church, including Colin.
"The people who come in for food are not always traditionally homeless like Colin, but they are on the very edge of poverty," David said.
"Some are addicts, some are sofa- surfers and others are in temporary accommodation, but we welcome everyone.
"Colin is a real character and he is always very talkative and seems content when he comes in.
"It gives him a break from being out in these terrible conditions.
"My wife Caroline slept rough last year for charity and was going to do it again this year, but couldn't because of the snow. She was able to make the decision whether or not to do it, but every night people like Colin don't have that choice."
Visit www.goolechurchestoget her.org.uk for more about Mission Trinity. The church opens its doors on Fridays from 6pm.