When Wesley Hall found out that Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs owned the building which his homeless rights group had occupied, he thought for sure that an order would be coming for them to vacate the premises.
Instead, Neville and Giggs have decided that the Manchester Angels can use the city's former Stock Exchange building to house those without a place to stay throughout the cold winter months.
The former Manchester United players reportedly bought the landmark site for £1.5m and intend to turn it into a boutique hotel.
Speaking to The Guardian, Hall described the gesture as 'brilliant'.
We are going to do everything properly. We have already drawn up rotas for cooking, cleaning and staffing the gate. Everyone will be able to have their own room and each person will be able to lock their bedroom door. We were expecting that as soon as Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville found out that we had occupied the building that they would try to get us evicted and that we would have to look for another building. Having a few months during the winter to work with homeless people without the threat of eviction hanging over our heads is brilliant.
Hall also told the Manchester Evening News of his admiration for Neville.
What a great guy Gary Neville is. We’ve been in negotiations with him and things are looking good. He said the main building work isn’t taking place until February, so we’ll be okay to stay until then.
He’s having surveyors in tomorrow, with a bit of building work being done. I cheekily said to him he should have the homeless guys do it instead of labourers to give them a bit of work.
I’m just in shock. He’s such an amazing guy. He told me he’s always tried to help out homeless people in Manchester, but wanted to do more.
He said he was walking down Market Street one day and had the keys to the Stock Exchange. He said he was tempted to just open the doors and let homeless people in to get a roof over their heads.
He knows we’ll look after the building and make proper use of it until the building work starts. This isn’t a long term thing, but we’ll have so much going on in here to help people.
It’s exactly what Manchester needs right now.