A homeless man’s life literally changed overnight when he was offered a job and a roof over his head – just 24 hours after a Good Samaritan launched a Facebook appeal.
Michael Peaks, 45, was sleeping rough in a shop doorway when he was spotted by Shane Sharkey who gave him a cup of tea.
Michael explained he had struggled to get his life together after being released from prison for petty thefts and drug abuse five months earlier.
Shane posted an appeal for help on a community Facebook page asking kind-hearted locals to help Michael after spotting him sleeping rough in Melton Mowbray, Leics.
Astonishingly, within 24 hours a local businessman gave Michael a job in his garage fixing cars while another woman gave him a room to stay in.
Michael said: “People have given me a second chance. I am bowled over by their compassion and good will.
“It’s like something out of a Christmas film – the sort of thing you see in a movie.
“It’s overwhelming what’s happened to me.
“I have been sleeping rough, on and off, for 30 years.
“I had a spell in prison and stopped using drugs but when I was released I had nothing and knew nobody.
“I first went to Lincoln but I got badly abused and threatened by drug pushers.
“I moved to Leicester but the same thing happened there. I was determined to stay clean so went to Grantham but again I didn’t feel safe.
“I came to Melton and got no bother. People are very friendly and sympathetic. It’s a place I want to stay.
“People have given me a second chance and I am trying to change. I hope that one day
I can repay their kindness in some way.”
His life was transformed after Shane spotted him November 10 after he had finished playing snooker with pals in the town.
Shane, 34, said: “I saw Michael and felt bad that I was out having a good time while he was shivering in a shop doorway.
“I’d walked past him several times before I spoke to him.
“I took him a cup of tea and some biscuits and we just started chatting.
“He told me he’d fallen on hard times but wanted to turn his life around. I was really struck by how nice and humble he was.
“He didn’t blame anyone for his predicament and seemed genuinely determined to change.
“I went home and posted an appeal on the Neighbourhood Watch Facebook page basically asking if anyone could offer him any work.”
Shane wrote: “Hi everyone. The guy that’s sleeping rough in the doorway of Manchester & Sons on King St is called Michael.
“He’s a really nice guy who is surprisingly happy with his lot. He is open about being an ex addict and is very complimentary about Melton and its people.
“Apparently this is the first town where nobody has attacked him, given him bother or offered him drugs – that’s why he’s still here.
“He is quite happy to do a day’s work and he’s had the odd day now and then washing pots, groundwork or labouring. Is there anyone out there who could offer this chap a break?
“Any work at all would be gratefully appreciated by him. Also, he likes two sugars in his tea.”
Incredibly, just hours after the post, Shane was inundated with offers of help, including businessman Graham Limbrick who runs a local garage.
He offered Michael an interview and on Monday (20/11) he started five days a week repairing and valeting cars.
Mr Limbrick said: “We’ve given him a hand-up, not a hand-out, and he is keen to take this chance.”
On the same day, a woman in a local café heard about Michael’s story and offered him a room to stay.
Shane added: “There was comment after comment from people offering him a room and offering to paint the room and provide furniture for it.
“It’s been absolutely astounding – it has changed his life. Us Meltonians are so down on ourselves sometimes, but this has shown that there is a real community spirit.”