A displaced ex-serviceman serving in Afghanistan says he will leave his bed for refugees from the country.
The veteran says Britain should help those evacuated after the Taliban take over “as much as we can”, including hotels and residences.
As a guest at Manchester’s Homeless Drop In Center Coffee 4 Craig, the former soldier says he has seen the effects of the war and the “government of terror and intolerance”.
He fears that some Afghans face violence, the possibility of execution or that “their entire family may be targeted.”
Speaking anonymously through the charity, he added: “We should help these people in every way we can, and if that means hotels, accommodation and support, that’s what we should do.
“I’ll leave my bed for them.”
Coffee 4 Craig – which provides food, clothing and support to Manchester’s raw sleepers – says both British raw sleepers and homeless Afghans need help from those living in Greater Manchester.
“Every problem is a crisis in its own right,” says co-founder Hendrix Lancaster.
“People who have concerns or complaints about Afghans coming to the UK and staying in hotels and the negative impact on the current homeless population are entitled to their opinion, but I’m not sure they are right.
We are talking about people who supported the British government and the British armed forces and are now leaving themselves in a country ruled by the Taliban.
“They are most at risk because they helped the British military, they helped make Afghanistan a more tolerant and inclusive country.
“The government needs to adequately fund local authorities so that they do their best to welcome Afghan citizens and integrate them into our existing communities, communities that are inclusive and tolerant. Does anyone have the right to feel safe and welcome?
The majority of our guests really support the Afghans who come here. Our guests are educated and well aware of the situation, they watch the news and read the papers, they have their own minds and they are welcoming the response we have received.
“Every one of us is trying to save lives and make life better.”
“Manchester has charities for the homeless and charities that work with refugees. Does that mean one need is more than another? People are people, why discriminate?
“If members of the public do not agree with the government’s decision to house Afghan refugees, they can write to their local MP, make sure they vote in the next general election and support the homeless charity. So that real change can be lobbied with the current street homeless people. “
Thousands of Afghans have been evacuated in the weeks since the Taliban took control of the country.
Some were blown up at Manchester Airport, Where he was met by Red Cross volunteers. .
About half were children. Who hugged their parents when they were wearing nothing but clothes.
A baby, less than a month old, was wrapped in a wire-bound blanket.
Some of the newcomers were put on buses and sent to quarantine hotels in other parts of the country.
Others were housed in hotels in Greater Manchester, where they currently reside, while the Home Office discusses funding for accommodation arrangements with ten area councils and Combined Authority officials.
The Home Office had earlier said that hotels were being used as a “temporary measure” for evictions due to “unprecedented demand”.