By Ian Judson
Hull Echo is proud to announce that the unsung heroes of 2017, were Julie Preston, and Carl Simpson.
As the year started with the City of Culture events, Julie and Carl have combined to form the Raise the Roof Homeless project in Hull, armed with an army of volunteers, and some genuine good will.
On being informed that he is being made an unsung hero, Carl Simpson also gave us some exclusive news, he said:
“Early in 2018, we are going to be renting our first property.
“In that, we are intending to put people, that are ready to leave hostels and go back to work.
“So that they can afford to start work, and stay in a place they can rent. This is all non-profit, anything made from that will go back into it, and help them further.”
Speaking about the scale of the homelessness problem in Hull, Carl said:
“As an example, we also work with the Vineyard project.
“Anne-Marie at the Vineyard project, is also part of Raise the Roof… Between us we’ve been able to house eight people in the last six weeks.
“We’ve taken them off the streets, and put them into housing, we’ve had tears, it’s been a rollercoaster of emotion, that’s what we’ve managed to do.”
Julie Preston, ex-prison officer who now bullies men with whips and things otherwise known as Hull’s own mistress Dita, has been helping the homeless as well for many years, and it’s something she is clearly very passionate about.
When told she was being made an unsung hero of 2017, she replied:
“I’m totally blown away, just because I’m so annoying, I can’t believe somebody actually thinks I’m doing a good job.
“ “I’ve been doing this for years, it’s not something I just do during the winter, because there are needy people all year round.
“I just randomly fill my car with stuff all year round, and just stop in the middle of places, and just throw stuff at people.”
Although figures show there are only a few people homeless in Hull, Julie says it’s a massive problem, she said:
“I have hundreds on my rounds, and it’s not just central.
“I’ve got people down Anlaby Road, Hessle Road, Newland Avenue, Princes Avenue, everywhere, Spring Bank, all over.”
Look on our facebook page for the Exclusive interview with Carl and Julie over the Christmas period.