Waqar Salim, 36, Humzah Shah, 21, and Wakas Khalid, 27 are three friends on a mission: to help the homeless of Birmingham. And they mean business. Take a Mr Robert Maxwell, who until recently had been sleeping outside a Co-op supermarket for nine months. That is until he was spotted by the three friends, who not only found the 35 year old a place to stay, they gave him a job as a cleaner at their Metroflex Gym and Rehabilitation business, and even took him for a haircut. Optometrist Mr Salim, picks up the story: ‘Humzah called me one day and said there was a guy sleeping rough outside the park in the Jewellery Quarter and wondered if we could do something for him. Robert was in a bad state. He had scars all over his face, a huge ulcer on his leg and he was on drugs. He had nothing to live for. He was just begging to make ends meet.’ Mr Salim took Mr Maxwell to Metroflex, where he was able to have a shower, put some clean clothes on and have a meal. Then before he was taken back to the Jewellery Quarter, the three friends made a deal with him. Mr Salim added: ‘Wakas gave him £10 and we said, “you need to show us that you are serious about this. If you want to change your life, bring the money back to us and don’t spend it on drugs.”‘ That was the opportunity Mr Maxwell needed to turn his life around and he later returned to the three friends with the £10 still in his pocket. Mr Salim said: ‘We tried to get him accommodation, gave him a job in the gym as a cleaner and general administrator to keep him going and thirdly and most importantly, we sent him to a rehabilitation programme.’ A grateful Mr Maxwell said: ‘I’ve now got something to get up for in the morning. I clean the machines, the showers, I talk to people and it all makes me feel welcome. I was born in the care system and never had a family, but they make me feel part of something – and that’s worth living for.’ And all thanks to the three amigos.
March 4, 2018