MORE than £5,000 has now been donated by more than 400 well-wishers to help a homeless man who was prevented by a spiked chain from sleeping rough in his usual spot in York city centre.

Donors from as far away as Australia, America and Germany have contributed after hearing about the appeal online, and have also praised Lara Seamer, the young woman who set up the online fundraising drive at the weekend.

One donor said: “Well done and thank you for being so caring towards another human,” while another said: “What a wonderful cause ....we need more people like you - hope this may change this guy’s life.” A third said: “It puts faith back into the human race with people like yourself showing kindness, compassion and care to support and help another person less fortunate and who has hit upon hard times. Hats off to you.”

The amount raised is more than ten times more than Lara's original target, and she said yesterday she now hoped enough money would be raised to be able to provide proper accommodation for the man for a year. “I’m in the process of talking to private landlords on room rentals for something that can be paid in advance to reduce the pressure of monthly payments,” she said.

“I’ve been speaking to accountants about money handling, and to see if we can get someone to keep an eye on his accounts that will be set up for when he’s moved, so he knows how to handle money properly. It’s a lot of money for somebody with nothing.

“I’m speaking to the council and they’re getting some information together on what benefits he could be entitled to.”

She also hoped she might be able to help him get a job, apprenticeship or college place as he got back on his feet.

The Press reported yesterday how the chains, which were removed on Monday morning, blocked the man’s access to a small alcove between two pillars at the back of Queens House in Fetter Lane, off Skeldergate.

Stapleton Waterhouse, which manages the building and, the building’s owner Helmsley Group syndicate and occupier, Langleys Solicitors, said homeless charities had offered him assistance, which he had refused.

They said City of York Council had served a notice on him for “anti-social behaviour,” following local complaints.The council said it would never take enforcement action lightly or, in the case of a rough sleeper, without offering appropriate support.

* To donate to the appeal, go to