When letting agent and landlord Daniel Buckley logged on to Facebook one night after a hectic day at work, he never imagined that a few minutes spent scrolling would inspire him to change a homeless mans life.
Fast forward four weeks, and not only does the man in question-Nick -now have a roof over his head-he also has a job he enjoys -thanks to Daniel.
“It all started when I came across a post on social media about a fundraiser that had been set up to raise money for a local man who had been on the streets for nearly five years” begins Daniel. “It was a post I couldn’t just ignore”.
Daniel stopped scrolling, clicked on the link and spent the next five minutes reading about the plight of Nick, a homeless man who was desperate for support.
After reading Nick’s story, Daniel felt compelled to help and spent the rest of the evening thinking about how he could get in touch with Nick.
“There’s a café around the corner from where one of my properties is based in Chard, and the lady who runs it was the person who initiated the fundraising page as she knew Nick quite well. I asked her if she could put us in touch”.
Three days later, Daniel and Nick met up at the café. Over coffee and cake, Nick opened up to Daniel about how he became homeless.
“It was clear to me that here was a guy who just needed someone to give him a chance to make a fresh start”, says Daniel: “Nick told me he was keen to find somewhere more permanent to live so he could get a job he told me as well that he enjoys cleaning”.
The pair spoke for more than an hour in the café, and there and then Daniel offered Nick a room that was vacant in one of his HMO properties just around the corner from the cafe.
“I had a room free in one of my six HMOs in that area. Nick is really lovely and friendly guy, so after our conversation I straight away offered him somewhere to stay”.
Daniel waivered the deposit, and also reduced the first months’ rent by a week. The money that was raised on the online fundraiser was used to pay for the first months rent-with Nick ‘never touching it’.
“Shortly before we first met in the café, Nick was sadly been mugged which meant he didn’t have anything apart from the clothes on his back. So I bought him all the bedding and crockery for his new home too” says Daniel.
Daniel’s generosity didn’t stop there. He wanted Nick to have a focus, and to help him earn some money while he waited for his benefits to come through. So-he gave him a job as a cleaner in his properties.
“Nick did such a good job cleaning the oven in his own property, and because he’d already said to me its something he enjoys doing, he’s now doing some paid work for me cleaning at some of my other rental properties”.
An ethical landlord
Daniel and business partners Simon and Becky founded Zest Properties several years ago. From the very first day, the team were keen for their company to make a positive difference to the local community.
“As a business, we have always wanted to help those who are in a less fortunate position than us, and we wanted to build the business up first to be in a position to do that. It is the first time we’ve done something like this”.
As for Nick?
He recently told a local newspaper that he is currently applying for permanent work adding his gratefulness for the generosity of people in his local community who rallied around for him, especially Daniel.
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