Omar Arshad told how his life has been turned around after a young man reached out and helped him.
Since Huddersfield bar manager Louie Cooper spend £40 at a local charity shop on a new wardrobe of clothes, including a suit jacket, Omar’s luck has changed and he has now found himself a job and a place to live.
It put an end to three months on the streets.
Omar’s luck changed when he went into Five Bar & Kitchen, in Cross Church Street.
Although 22-year-old Louie Cooper could not offer any work, he took one look at Omar, wearing shoes with no soles, ripped jeans, three dirty jumpers and a haggard coat and knew he needed help if he was to find a job.
He took Omar to the local charity shop, Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice shop, where they kitted him out in a full outfit and then went to a cafe to advise him how to present himself in interview. Amazingly, Louie’s good deed paid off, and Omar found a job within days.
After working for years in takeaways, Omar was about to go into business with a friend about a year ago, to run his own food outlet when the deal fell through and he was left with nothing.
He lost everything and ended up living on the streets, unable to sign on or claim any benefits.
Instead he would pound the streets asking market stall holders and businesses if they had any jobs for him. If he could not get any work he would sometimes have to beg for it.
He said: “When I met Louie it was the first time someone has really looked at me like I was a brother. He didn’t look down on me or feel sorry for me. He just wanted to help me.”
Omar was born in England and is of Pakistani origin. He was raised in Huddersfield with his five brothers and his family were in the takeaway business.
He married at just 15 and has five children. He was ostracised by his family as an older man when he met a white English girl. He is still with his partner, but they have to live apart as she found somewhere to live before him.
On the day Louie helped him to buy a suit, Omar managed to secure a job with the Malakai takeaway in Cross Church Street and then found a room in a shared house.
Omar said: “I can’t believe how much my life has changed. I had lost my faith in everything and now I’ve found it.”
Louie said: “I didn’t mean for people to know about what I had done, but I told my mum and she told others.
“I did this to help my fellow man. I got the feeling Omar was a good guy and needed a break.”