After three youths savagely beat a homeless man as he slept in a tent, the British town of Blackpool has rallied to get him back on his feet and into an apartment.
Igor Gieci, a 55-year-old Slovakian, was kicked and stomped on Monday by young men who stole his cellphone and demanded money, authorities said. The attack was a "brutal and sustained assault on a vulnerable man," Det. Con Weaver told the Blackpool Gazette.
Gieci, who was left battered and bleeding, said he pleaded with his assailants to stop before they ran off. They remain at large.
As of Thursday, the site had raised nearly $3,000.
A real estate agent in the seaside resort found a ground-floor flat for the man, and donors have come forward with furniture, food and household supplies.
"I'm really proud of the people of Blackpool," Mark Butcher, founder of the Amazing Graze soup kitchen, told the paper. "It's been really quite incredible to see such an amazing response from locals — from working and genuine people."
Gieci has been living on the streets for about eight months since losing his job and failing to find another one, he said.
Butcher says social workers are trying to help him find work. Meanwhile, the goal is to raise enough funds to pay Bieci's rent for six months while he gets his life back on track.
"We just plan to let him rest, feed him and try to get him healthy," Butcher said.