Charity workers shocked by homeless man’s death
Grandfather ‘held in great affection’ by those who knew him
Charity volunteers and friends of a homeless grandfather have described their shock and sadness after the news of his death.
Police were called to the car park underneath the Stour Centre after the body of Sean Brady was found on Friday.
The 49-year-old had been battling alcoholism and also suffered from epilepsy, and had been sleeping rough in the sheltered car park. He was known to volunteers at Ashford Christian Fellowship, where he had volunteered in the shop and attended church services.
Pastor Ian Fowkes said that everyone who knew him held him in great affection and that he had made great efforts to beat his drink problems.
Mr Fowkes added: “Sean had been in contact with our church for the past two years and had a strong connection with a number of homeless folk.
“He was always a cheerful gentleman who had a positive outlook; he was affectionate towards us and his friends, there was never an aggressive bone in his body. It is particularly sad because he had recently been making great efforts to come off the drink. I believe he was on the verge of getting his own property.
“Some of his friends told me he was only days away from being able to move into his own flat provided by the local authority.
“This has been very sad for both the volunteers and his friends who knew and loved him.”
Mr Fowkes said that volunteers took comfort from Mr Brady’s faith, which was very important to him. He added: “Our only consolation is that he is now in a happier place.” Mr Brady had been staying in the winter night shelters provided by Ashford Churches Together to give the homeless somewhere to stay during the colder months.
On Facebook, friends have described how the news has “rocked” the homeless community, some of whom have been camping in tents behind the fire station.
Mr Fowkes said that churches in Ashford are working to see if a new scheme could be set up to provide a permanent place to support rough sleepers throughout the year.
Police say Mr Brady’s death is not being treated as suspicious, and say a report has been prepared for the coroner.
‘He had recently been making great efforts to come off the drink’
The body of 49-year-old homeless grandfather Sean Brady was found in the car park under the Stour Centre on Friday