Former Manchester United player and Stoke City manager Lou Macari adapts homeless shelter with Covid-safe 'pods'

A homeless shelter opened by former Stoke City manager and Manchester United and Scotland player Lou Macari has been adapted with Covid-safe 'pods'.

The Macari Centre, originally opened in 2016 on Regent Road in Hanley in Stoke-on-Trent.

However, in May last year, the government deemed all dormitory-style accommodation no longer safe due to coronavirus guidelines.

40 people had been using the centre, which was providing them with a hot meal and access to advice to help them find more sustainable housing, when the pandemic first struck.

The former Macari homeless shelter was deemed unsafe in May last year due to pandemic. Credit: BPM Media

Determined to not let the residents end up back on the streets, the former midfielder worked with the city council to move the shelter to a nearby warehouse.

Using glamping-style pods, Marcari was able to provide a safe space for people from the virus.

Each pod is kitted out with new beds, heaters, TVs and are numbered on the front door to give the residents proof of address - to help with employment.

Macari said he had to moved quickly to find a new space and then found the warehouse which was the same size as a football pitch to help those who are homeless.

Those who use the shelter believe it's a big improvement on the old site.

Lee Dowling has lived at the Macari Centre on and off for two years. He battled a drug addiction and could no longer live with his family.

Inside each pod is a person, given a helping hand in the hardest of times - from the man who wants everyone to be at the top of their game.

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