The coronavirus has been a game-changer in the past several months. Apart from locking people down, it has also closed the doors of numerous companies and places.
Yet, some hotels have been so generous that they remained open just to accommodate the homeless during these challenging times. The Fownes Hotel in Worcester, England, normally charges guests up to £155 per night.
Yet, the 62-room hotel decided to stay open to provide shelter and food to people living on the streets. Now, their grateful guests return the favor.
Eddie Boult, a former bricklayer and one of the guests at the hotel, has built a wall and a patio at the hotel. Others helped the 11-member staff with the room-cleaning and gardening, as 45 people have been staying there since the restrictions.
Peter Swinbourne, who has been homeless for 25 years, says:
“I have never slept in a double bed before. I’m happy here—this is a five-star hotel putting up homeless people.”
Restaurant employees work every single day to provide three-course meals for the guests and deliver them to their rooms in disposable containers.
55-year-old Terrence Marriot, who’s been staying at the hotel for six weeks, says that the food is “excellent”, and he feels “ a lot healthier than when I came in.”
According to assistant manager Julie Merrick, the hotel remained open just because they wanted to help:
“Our new guests have been lovely and grateful for the support they had been given and treat their rooms with respect.”
Merrick, a mother-of-two, has worked double the typical hours to help the hotel stay open. She explains that they are the only hotel in Worcester doing this, so the staff “ are very brave” and ‘ it has brought us all closer together as a team.”
The staff focused on an action called “Housing First” as a way to combat homelessness, which initially provides those in need with housing, and then provides additional services. They believe that everyone can move forward easier if they have a roof over their heads.
The hotel has partnered with a homeless charity to host workshops that will help the homeless fight their addictions, seek benefits, and find future accommodation.
Alcohol is not permitted in the hotel, and the bar has been cleared of all alcohol as a precaution.
It was reported that at the entrance of the hotel, there are signs that remind people to wash their hands because of Covid-19 with hand sanitizer. According to the management, no cases of Covid-19 have been reported so far.
If they respect hotel rules, guests are rewarded with pizza on a Tuesday night! Back in February, during the regional flooding, the hotel has helped people again and homed 30 people who were forced to leave their homes.
Amazing job, Fownes Hotel!