Child’s Tooth Money Leads to Opening of Pop-Up Hostel

Malachi stands in front of Malachi Place shelter
by SalvationArmy.ca
Categories: Articles, Blog, Feature, Mobile, Newswire
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When his first baby tooth fell out at the age of five, Malachi gave his ‘tooth fairy’ money to the local Salvation Army in London, UK, along with a note asking them to spend it on helping homeless people.

“Dear Salvation Army. I pray you get money to buy houses for everybody. I have £5 (C$9) from the tooth fairy. Please use it to buy a home. I hope you have a good day. God bless you. Love Malachi.”

“I have £5 (C$9) from the tooth fairy. Please use it to buy a home.”

Malachi’s money challenged The Salvation Army to do more for people who are forced to sleep on the streets. For many years the Army offered emergency shelter, but knew it wasn’t enough.

“People end up sleeping on the streets for lots of complex reasons and it could be anything from job loss or poor health to addiction,” says Captain John Clifton, The Salvation Army’s leader in Ilford, East London. “Malachi made us think about how we could build homes and provide support to get residents back to independent living.”

“Malachi made us think about how we could build homes and provide support to get residents back to independent living.”

Malachi Place is up and running and will provide year-round accommodation and support for people who are experiencing homelessness. Round-the-clock, on-site assistance will help residents deal with many issues that led them to the streets and, in May, a bicycle workshop will open where tenants can learn skills to help them find employment.

As well as the initial £5 (C$9) from Malachi, The Salvation Army has received support for the project from several organizations and charitable trusts.

“I can’t believe we have built a home for the homeless,” says the 10-year-old. “I’m really happy The Salvation Army used my money to do this. No one should have to sleep on the streets.”