Homeless Hamid of Church Langley has passed away
News / Fri 2nd Mar 2018 pm31 02:32pm
By Adam Spartley
A HOMELESS HARLOW man, who for a long time lived in his car in Church Langley, has died.
Hamid Farahi was aged 55. YH understands that he died in a hotel.
Hamid had become a well known figure to those visiting Tescos in Church Langley as his car sat just outside the car park.
He developed a good relationship with many members of the public, and their kindness and lack of judgement was well received by a man who’s circumstances were a sad reflection of a successful past.
Hamids’ kind nature led to him being the focus of a Gofundme campaign that hoped to raise enough money to house him over the Christmas period.
The campaign eventually raised over £700, easily exceeding its £500 target.
The founder of the Gofundme campaign, who wishes to remain anonymous, expressed his gratitude to Your Harlow for helping to raise awareness for Hamid.
He said: ‘It is of some comfort to know that Hamid died in the relative comfort of a hotel rather than outside in his car during this bitter weather. I am grateful to everyone who donated to the cause, thankyou for allowing Hamid some additional comfort over the Christmas period.’
In recent times, Harlow charity, Street2Homes had managed to find a roof for Hamid and helped him engage with a number of services.
A spokesperson for Street2Homes told YH: “We are all shocked here. Hamid had only recent started engaging with us.”
Back in December 2017, our reporter Adam Spartley sat down with Hamid to talk frankly about his life and his troubles.
The newsitem is re-published here.
Help for Hamid
‘They burnt it to the ground, and everything in it….even my medication’, says Hamid Farahi, about the tent he was living in up until a few months ago.
Born in Iran in 1962, Hamid was a promising student conscripted into the army at 18 years old, who after service went on to obtain a degree with high honours in applied mathematics and theoretical physics.
Of the few personal items he still has left, a bundle of letters from the desk of Stephen Hawking are amongst them. They are signed by Hawkings ex personal assistant Sue Masey, and are evidence of Hamid being one of the final few candidates shortlisted as a graduate assistant to the revered Professor.
‘It was a great time in my life, and i could have been sad about not getting the scholarship’ , said Hamid, ‘but more so i was proud to have been one of the final few candidates in the selection process’.
Hamid went on to graduate from the British Aeronautical University in Bristol, which led to him securing a job as an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer at British Airways in Stansted.
Like many other people, Hamid’s life ambitions and job security were sadly cut short following the UK recession of 2008.
In 2009 he was made redundant, and after a year of desperately searching for work he turned to anti depressants and then to alcohol.
Sadly, Hamid’s problems appear to be compounded by symptoms of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) that he has carried with him since fighting in the Iran – Iraq war, which saw over one and a half million people lose their lives.
‘It still affects me,’ Hamid said, ‘I still have flashbacks every night. Seeing the deaths of my men. My friends.’
With no children, and having never married, Hamids problems snowballed once he found himself on the streets. His prospects looked bleak for many years, and he eventually found himself sleeping in a tent behind Church Langley Tesco’s.
It was here, a few months ago, that his tent was torched by a group of teenagers.
Following this mindless act of vandalism someone kindly donated Hamid a used car so that he had somewhere to sleep and store his few remaining possessions, and he continued to live in this car until a week ago following a particularly bitter winter night.
‘It was so cold when i tried to open the car door, the key broke and i was locked out. I started a fire in the nearby woods and stayed by it all night to make sure i didn’t freeze’ said Hamid.
Having become known to regular users of Church Langley Tesco as a well mannered and approachable person, Hamid had struck up friendships with some of the people who regularly bought him spare clothes or food donations.
One of these people, who wishes to remain anonymous, goes by the Facebook pseudonym of Clive Turner.
Clive secured a locksmith to get Hamid back into his car, and then set up a crowdfunding page to hopefully help raise money and awareness to Hamids current situation.
‘He’s ex military, a very proud man, and not in very good health, ‘said Clive, ‘he just needs a bit of help to get himself back on his feet and even if we can raise enough money to get him somewhere to stay for a few weeks over christmas it’ll be worth it’.
The page caught the attention of a couple (also wishing to remain anonymous) who were moved by the story and went on to pay for Hamid to stay at the Park Inn for five nights with meals paid for.
‘Hamid said it was the first bed he had slept in for two years. Neither myself or the couple who put him up here are looking for a pat on the back, that’s why we want to remain anonymous’ said Clive, ‘we’re just doing what we hope most people would do in this situation and help out a person in need.’
The page has gathered momentum since being set up five days ago. Six hundred pounds has been raised, bags of donated clothes and food have been received by Clive, and a Harlow resident has offered to replace Hamid’s car with a van, giving him more living space and a higher level of comfort throughout the winter months.
Following this outpouring of support and good will, Hamid seemed almost overwhelmed.
‘I appreciate the massive kindness inside of people, to give to those who are in need’, he said, ‘I am speechless.’
Any money donated to Hamid’s cause will go directly towards helping Hamid. At the moment, any money donated will help to convert the new van into a comfortable living space, complete with insulation, lighting and other basic needs.
To donate to Hamids cause and hopefully help him through the nearing winter months, go to https://www.gofundme.com/help-for-hamed.
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