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Ex-homeless Dennis returns to help charity—for the homeless

PUBLISHED: 19:13 29 December 2008 | UPDATED: 13:55 05 October 2010

A BUSINESSMAN who was once on the streets of London has been cleaning shelters for the homeless set up over the festive period. It is Dennis Fisher's way of putting something back into the work that Shelter, the charity for the homeless, is doing for people going through what he faced himself a few years ago

By Victoria Huntley

A BUSINESSMAN who was once on the streets of London has been cleaning shelters for the homeless set up over the festive period.

It is Dennis Fisher's way of putting something back into the work that Shelter, the charity for the homeless, is doing for people going through what he faced himself a few years ago.

Dennis now heads Citrus Clean, a cleaning company in Docklands' wealthy Canary Wharf district with an annual turnover of £1 million and employing 50 workers.

He started it as a 'one man' operation in 1998 and has watched it grow over the past decade to the thriving nationwide business it is today.

Rolling his sleeves up and getting down to cleaning the homeless centres being run by Crisis over the festive season has enabled him to "give something back" to the charity which is dear to his heart.

"I know what it is like being homeless," he says. "This means a great deal to me, to offer my services to help out in any way I can."

Crisis opened temporary centres to run between December 23 and 30, offering companionship, hot meals, warmth, and services like medical and dental checkups.

Dennis's company spruced up the charity's centres at Newham College in Stratford and at Islington Arts and Media School in Finsbury Park, which have been used as temporary shelters for London's homeless.

He is now tendering for 2012 Olympic-related cleaning contracts.

Crisis wants to end 'rough sleeping' in time for the Games being staged in East London and is campaigning for more low-cost housing. It is also running schemes to help the homeless develop skills and get jobs.

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