What do Football Stars, Hotels and the Homeless Have in Common?

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A $2 million former stock exchange building in Manchester England was purchased recently by Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs, former Manchester United players. In the spring they’ll be doing extensive renovations and turning the building into a boutique hotel. The hotel will reportedly have a spa, gym, and rooftop terraces.

In the meantime though, a couple dozen homeless squatters and activists found the building to be just the shelter they needed from the cold. Manchester’s homeless numbers have reportedly skyrocketed over the past several years, with over 280,000 seeking assistance from homelessness in England in just the past 12 months. Rather than kicking out those that “sleep rough”, the new building owners temporarily offered the space to Manchester Angels who intend to bring in food, clothing and health care. Since work on the luxury hotel won’t start until February, until then the building will provide shelter for homeless from the bitter winter weather in the coldest months.

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The building has quickly been affectionately dubbed the “Sock Exchange” and it is reported that Gary Neville is even paying for hot food 3 times a week.

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The only stipulation is that the Manchester Angels allow access to hotel laborers as needed and clean up the space before vacating in February, leaving it in better condition than it was found.

It seems the kind act has spurred a flurry of action, as Manchester’s Town Hall is in discussions to offer other unused buildings during the winter to the homeless. What a heartwarming story to read about! Happy Friday all!

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