Homeless tradie's makeshift home targeted by vandals: 'Everything destroyed'

Brian Stapleton left for just a 'few hours' and returned to find his shirts smashed with eggs and his tent slashed.

Left is an image of Brian. Right image of his slashed tent.
Brian Stapleton found his tent destroyed and ruined after leaving it for only a few hours. Source: Courier Mail

A homeless man living in a tent has been left with his makeshift home and belongings vandalised for a second time in six months.

Brian Stapleton, a 59-year-old forklift driver, has been living in a tent at Leis Park in Brisbane's north after being unable to find accommodation — a fate more and more Aussies are facing during the current housing crisis.

After leaving his shelter for just a "few hours", he came back to find it "slashed", his shirts "smashed with eggs", BBQ destroyed, guitar snapped and dirt covering his possessions that had been thrown about.

"This is the second time this has happened to me, the last time everything was destroyed too," Stapleton told The Courier Mail. "Nothing was stolen as nothing would have been of value to them."

The forklift driver of 20 years told the outlet he was previously living in a share house before leaving due to another violent tenant. He then became homeless and this month lost his job due to the company "downsizing".

Images of Brian's tent and belongings vandalised and thrown about.
Brian says this is the second time his makeshift home has been vandalised. Source: Courier Mail

Community support for rising homeless population

After sharing his ordeal with a community Facebook group on April 14, Stapleton shared how much support from the community flooded in — with a retired couple even offering a room free of rent for him to stay in.

He also shared how much Nourish Street, the one-man charity run by Beau Haywood, helped him — something others have attested to. "One man, Beau Haywood, took immediate action. By midday that day, he’d jumped in his car, met with the poster and provided him with a range of supplies to replace the damaged items," GoFundMe organiser Lisa shared on the site in a fundraiser for the small start-up charity.

"While he is investigating how to make his charitable role official and seek a regular funding source, until now he has funded his activities from his personal savings."

More Aussies have been left with no choice but to live in tents across the country, with Stapleton telling The Courier Mail he has noticed "four or five" more tents set up in the area "every week".

Not the only park with tents popping up, further south in the heart of Brisbane at Musgrave Park is a place labelled "tent city" with around 60 tents set up for those in desperate need of housing.

Paul Slater, who runs the Northwest Community Group — a charity to help the homeless, sets up stands twice a week to give away food, clothes, toiletries and tents at the park. Previously speaking to Yahoo News Australia, Slater said the pop-up community reflects the overall dire state of the nation's housing crisis.

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