NEWS
16/12/2017 08:30 GMT

Homeless Man Who Guarded Open Car ‘Overwhelmed’ By Thousands Raised For Him

'What James did was incredible'.

A homeless man who stood guard by an open car to make sure a handbag and money was not stolen has been overwhelmed by a campaign that has raised thousands of pounds for him.

James McGeown noticed that John McMonagle had left the window down of his car outside Glasgow Sheriff Court on Thursday morning with a handbag and cash on display, The Press Association reports.

After waiting two-and-a-half hours, he took out the bag – which belonged to Mr McMonagle’s colleague Alyshia Orford – to check for ID and found it contained £450. He then took it to a nearby solicitor’s office until Mr McMonagle returned. 

GoFundMe
James McGeown (left)

The businessman, who owns McMonagles Boat fish and chip restaurant in Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire, was touched by the act and set up a GoFundMe page to raise £5,000 for Mr McGeown.

The target was quickly passed with the total almost doubling within 24 hours. 

Mr McMonagle said: “It’s been absolutely breathtaking, it really has. What James did was incredible.

“I wanted to help him in some way and offered him a job but he’s alcohol-dependent. He needs professional help and he called me today, and I dropped him at a detox centre where he’s volunteered to go in for three weeks.”

Excess funds from the online drive are to go to homeless charities and support networks to help more people.

Mr McMonagle added: “The money is over £5,000 and James will get all of that, but I’ll administer it and be guided by professionals. It’s there for clothing and I’ve just given him a mobile phone so I can keep in touch with him.

“He’s going to go through this three-week detox, which I understand can be quite tough, but he’s determined to do it and he phoned me and asked me to go in with him. I think the faith that everyone has shown in him has touched him.

“He’s genuinely overwhelmed. People have been approaching him in the street, he’s had job offers and all sorts. It’s a possible life-changing opportunity for him.

“I want the funding to keep coming. I’ve now seen the support available to people like James and the people who give it and I want this whole drive to help them.”