Michael Veale, 35, who was living rough in a small tent in Cork City for almost two months, said he was overwhelmed by the response.
Almost €2,000 was donated after activist for the homeless Christina Chalmers highlighted his plight on The Neil Prendeville Show on RedFM yesterday. She said the money would allow him to put a deposit on a flat, cover rent for a month or two, and hopefully get him back on his feet.
Michael, who has been in Cork for about 13 years and has overcome addiction, said: “I’d just like to say thank you so much to the people of Cork for donating to help me find my new home. I hope to get a flat soon.”
He had been living in a tent pitched in a car park on Lower John St for the last few weeks. Two other homeless people were living in a second tent in the same car park.
Five teenagers made their way to the car park on Sunday afternoon and spoke to Michael, asking him if he was homeless. He said he was, and then he left for a few minutes, passing the teenagers on the road as he returned to his tent. When he got back to the car park, he found that his tent, and everything in it, including a sleeping bag, clothes, and shoes, had been torched.
“I was disgusted. I don’t know who they were. I’m just lucky I wasn’t in the tent at the time,” he said.
He spent Sunday night sleeping rough outside St Mary’s Church on Pope’s Quay but, last night, was still not sure where he was going to sleep.
Ms Chalmers, who organises homeless runs in the city, set up the fundraiser and will release the money when a flat is available.