A Fraserburgh man’s challenge to sleep rough for 30 nights in cities across the UK has been praised by thousands of people.
Gordon Cruden left his home in Fraserburgh on October 21 and has been sleeping in doorways across London to raise vital funds for the Teen Challenge project in Mintlaw.
The 48-year-old says being without his home comforts – a bed, clothing and even money – will allow him to experience the harsh realities that homeless people have to deal with every day.
He is also raising awareness and funds for a female addiction recovery base in Aberdeenshire, the Benaiah Centre, which allows mothers to continue living with their children while they complete a 48-week addiction recovery programme.
The centre is currently rented by the Teen Challenge project, but the purchase of the site – which will cost an estimated £535,000 – would allow the team to provide more permanent residential support
So far, Mr Cruden has raised £178,333 with a sponsored motorcycle journey across Europe.
And now his Hungry for Homeless challenge, part of a five-year plan to buy the property, has amassed support from more than 1,295 people online who are following his every step.
Mr Cruden is living rough in five cities across the UK and Ireland – London, Cardiff, Dublin, Belfast and Edinburgh – and said he has already experienced the hardships homeless people face.
He said he had been humiliated by people taking pictures of him trying to sleep and even had his sleeping bag – one of the essentials he had taken with him – stolen.
Last night, he had to beg customers at a fast food restaurant for their free tokens to get a complimentary coffee.
He said: “I’m worn out tonight physically and emotionally, these homeless folk in London are very tough indeed.
“Do I want a hotel room? You’re right, I do, but there is money to raise and a challenge to attempt. Winners never quit and quitters never win.”
The Benaiah Centre’s
course is based on Christian principles, which balances classroom studies and practical work to equip people with new skills in cooking, gardening, domestic DIY, administration, horse livery and business entrepreneurship.
People who come through the scheme continue to receive support in establishing a home, career and further education opportunities, social networking and finance management.
To donate to Mr Cruden’s fundraiser visit www.justgiving.com/Hungry-for-the-Homeless-and-Addicted-2015