BATCH OF NEW 500 MILLION DOLLAR NOTES FOR THE HOMELESS
Homeless man gives student his last £3 to get home and is repaid with amazing gesture
Dominique Harrison-Bentzen, from Preston, is spending 24 hours on the street with the man known only as Robbie and the gesture is warming hearts across the globe
A selfless homeless man offered a stranded student his last remaining £3 so she could pay for a taxi to get home safely.
The remarkable act of kindness has been reciprocated, and she is now spending 24 hours on the street - to raise him much-needed cash for the deposit on a flat.
And Dominique Harrison-Bentzen, 22, has already smashed her target of raising £12,500 for the man, identified only as Robbie.
The University of Central Lancashire student realised she had lost her bank card after a night out on December 4, when the good Samaritan stepped in.
She said: "I suddenly realised that I had no money and a homeless man approached me with his only change of £3.
"He insisted I took it to pay for a taxi to make sure I got home safe."
She didn't take the money in the end but was so touched by the man's kind gesture that she has set herself a mission to help him.
Dominique said: "I ended up posting a status on Facebook to try and find him the next day and it turns out I'm not the only person he has helped."
Robbie appears to have come to the aid of many in Preston city centre, returning wallets to pedestrians and offering his scarf to keep people warm.
And now, the Miss Preston finalist will spend 24 hours with Robbie to raise money to help him get back on his feet.
Dominique said: "He has been homeless for seven months through no fault of his own and he can't get work due to having no address.
"It took me four nights of driving round Preston to find him and I was beginning to lose hope that I would see him again, to thank him personally for his kindness.
"Luckily I had my mum and her car to help me."
She added that she met Robbie in the early hours of December 4, four days later she found him again and the next day, December 9, she went live with her Facebook and fundraising posts and the money started rolling in. See the running total here.
"And I simply can't just give him the money, I have to go through the right channels so I will be spending 24 hours through the day and night as a homeless person to understand the difficulties they face each day.
"If people can sponsor me £3 - as Robbie attempted to give me his only £3 - in the hope of collecting enough to get Robbie a flat deposit so that he can be safe and warm."
Dominique has been overwhelmed by the response, and even Ian Brown from the Stone Roses has tweeted about the event.
"Everyone has been so supportive and I'd love to get as many people as possible out with me on Tuesday to show Robbie our support - be it for the full 24 hours or just one," she added.
"I hope my campaign will help people think a little more about the people around them, Christmas is a good time to think about other people.
"If people can see what I am doing then maybe they can take the time to just stop and talk to a homeless person, hear their story.
• Dominique passed her £12,500 within the first six hours of the 24 she had given herself.
It is a very wet and bitterly cold night on the streets of Brussels. Within minutes of having left their office, Red Cross volunteers find someone living on the streets. Homelessness in modern-day Europe has no boundaries. Red Cross volunteers are assisting people of all ages and from all social backgrounds. 41-year-old homeless man, Lionel Plasschaert, says he was ordered, by his dysfunctional parents, to leave home when he was just 17-years-old. He has a college education and in the past has been employed but now feels that the system has let him down.
People without a home in the EU face reduced life expectancy, health problems, discrimination, isolation and barriers to access basic public services and benefits. Official figures from the European Commission estimate that around four million people are homeless in the EU. Charities, however, argue that the true figure is probably considerably higher. Because of the unprecedented economic crisis in the bloc, the profile of homeless people in the EU has changed. It is no longer just drug, alcohol or gambling addicts who fall victim.
Former professional workers are ending up on the streets and so too are many families with young children. When EU governments and institutions let homeless people down, organizations like the Red Cross have to step in to fill the gaps. Campaigners say homelessness in the EU is already at crisis levels and the problem will get even worse unless radical measures are taken to tackle the causes of poverty in the bloc head on.
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