Leith unites to help homeless man drenched with bucket of water

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The Leith community have rallied to the aid of a homeless man who was drenched when a bucket of water tipped over him.

Contributor to community Facebook page “I Love Leith” Liz Chesman posted her upset after finding Mark Jappy in tears in his soaking sleeping bag on Bernard Street.

Leithers worked together to get Mark Jappy a new sleeping bag, Picture: Ian Georgeson

Leithers worked together to get Mark Jappy a new sleeping bag, Picture: Ian Georgeson

Ms Chesman found him “sobbing his heart out” and said that “he was feeling absolutely broken”.

She added: “I hope whoever did it is really proud of themselves. If you have a problem with him being there then there are other ways to deal with it than soaking him and his stuff at 10pm at night in winter.

“Last night I saw a broken man in despair and as human being I could not walk past without helping in the only way I could.”

Mark is well-known in the area and takes up a regular spot on the street outside the Sainsbury’s on the Shore.

He says is heartened by the outpouring of support since the post appeared on social media.

“There is a lot of nice people around here and I get on with all of them.

“I sit here and I genuinely understand that I ask people for their hard earned money.

“If somebody gives me money I say thank you and if they don’t, I say thank you anyway – I know not everyone can afford to give money to someone else when you’ve got yourself to worry about.

“But the community is 95 per cent spot on. It’s the 5 per cent that make it hard.

“You wouldn’t kick a dog when it’s down, why would you do it to a person? I’m already in a bad enough place as it is.

“I just want to get somewhere to stay at night but with that happening I felt so down. I felt like ‘why, what have I done?’”

He said it was not the first time water had been poured on him, in what is believed to be an attempt to clear Mark from sitting on the street outside the door of residential flats.

Matt Fothergill posted on Facebook: “Absolutely horrified that anyone could do this to someone especially Jappy, on a night like this.

“Beyond shocking. Jappy is such a good soul. He’s always got a kind word for everyone.”

Well-wishers planned to drop warm clothing, a dry sleeping bag and food off to show Mark that the community does care.

And one Leither has started crowdfunding to raise money for Mark.

The JustGiving page has been set up by Luke Richardson in the hopes of kickstarting Mark’s journey off the street.

Mr Richardson will also work with homeless professionals to create the best plan for Mark.

He said: “Many local Leithers will know Mark, a homeless man who is often seen sitting outside Bernard Street Sainsbury’s.

“He had bad luck in his life resulting in his current situation.

“Please lets all get together and give a little to help get him off the streets and hopefully into permanent accommodation.

“Leith’s motto is ‘persevere’ and he surely has done that. We may not all come from Leith but we call it our home and we have to look after each other.”

fiona.pringle@jpress.co.uk