A Dutch hotel has made a very nice gesture. It gave a homeless young man (20) who had roamed the streets of Groningen for 22 weeks, a free shelter and meals during these cold times. That way he could get a bit of strength again.
It was city photographer Joram Krol who tied the cat to the bell. On December 16, he posted a poignant picture of a homeless boy on social media who was leaning against a wall in the station hall of Groningen, while in the background the lights of a gigantic Christmas tree were burning cheerfully. Many of his followers became silent of the contrast.
The young man was mentioned again during a free dinner for thirty homeless people in the city. The owner of the restaurant where that took place is also assistant manager of two hotels and wanted to do something for one of his guests. Auxiliary platform Straatwijs – an organization of Joram Krol and Siebe Zwerver – explained about the boy and the assistant manager decided in consultation with his boss to give him shelter during the Christmas season.
They immediately went to look for the homeless boy and did not know what he was hearing when he was told that he would not have to sleep in the station during the cold Christmas days. “He told me 10 times thank you when I showed him his room”, says the assistant manager at the Dutch news site RTV Noord.
The boy was also allowed to enjoy the breakfast and evening buffet free of charge for two days. Normally he had to go up the street again, but his stay was extended until after New Year, thanks to some donations. “He can not actually survive outside,” says Siebe Zwerver. “It did not seem like a good idea to put him in the night shelter between the big men.”
After the turn of the year, the boy could turn to professional help. Meanwhile, after a call on social media, a lot of stuff was collected for him, from clothes and shoes to a bag to store stuff.
At the request of the assistant manager, his identity and the name of the hotel are not disclosed. “Attention should focus on the problems of the homeless, not on us”, it still stress.