A HOMELESS man and his dog have felt the warm embrace from the kindness of strangers who have raised funds to help get him back on his feet.
Darryl and his dog Max, who normally sit outside the Margiotta convenience store on Dundas Street, were allegedly assaulted in a brutal attack which left Darryl beaten and Max with stab wounds.
A familiar face in the area, Darryl’s horrific ordeal prompted Lesley Baldwin, who works in the Standard Life offices in Dundas House, to take action.
She set up a crowdfunding page to try and raise money to help cover the vet bills for Max.
And only 48 hours after launching the appeal, more than £15,000 had been pledged to not only help care for the injured dog but help Darryl start a new life.
Lesley explained: “I am friends with a homeless man, Darryl, and his dog Max. They have recently become victims of some thugs who have beaten up Darryl and stabbed little Max. Thankfully Max is ok and will make a full recovery.
“Every day they sit on Dundas Street outside Margiotta.
“Darryl does not ask for money but is always happy to chat to anyone who stops to talk to him. He does not drink and does not do drugs.
“Darryl has been homeless for three years and does not qualify for any benefits.
“People have been great about helping out with food, drinks and clothes, which he really appreciates.
“Now through raising awareness we have a chance to make a real and permanent difference to their lives.”
Lesley had initially aimed to raise £2000 to help towards setting up Darryl in a flat and pay for his initial rent, which would allow him to then claim benefits and “get himself back on his feet”.
And in an update, Lesley announced she had told Darryl of people’s generosity.
She said: “I broke the news to Darryl and I think I was crying more than him.
“He jumped up and was dancing in the street jumping up and down in the knowledge he will now get a home.”
Lesley has planned to meet with estate agent DJ Alexander, which has offered to help.
And through Lesley, Darryl left a message. “Darryl wanted me to pass on his thanks,” Lesley posted on the fundraising page, adding: “He thinks you are all amazing.”
Another Standard Life worker, Kevin Nowbaveh, said he was glad someone had stepped in to help.
He said: “I saw Darryl last summer, after he’d been attacked with a hammer, blood pouring out his head, this time people have decided to act.”
And for those living on the streets, violence is a constant threat.
Homeless charity, Simon Community Scotland, reported that rough sleepers are 13 times more likely to experience violence and 47 times more likely to be a victim of theft.
Figures also show the homeless are likely to attend A&E six times as often, be admitted four times as often and stay three times as long.
Homeless men anticipate a life expectancy of 47 years, and for women it decreases to 43 years – against an average life expectancy in Scotland of 86.6 years.
If you wish to donate to the page you can do so by visiting https://www.gofundme.com/help-darryl-max