There are so many people in need who are left even without a roof on their heads living in extreme poor conditions. Homeless people are in constant struggle with various surviving issues one of which is their own safety. The general public has a tendency to close their eyes in front of these people and ignore their issues. But, they are faced with violence every day and fight to survive for their lives. In addition to this there is the issue with the limited access to private and public services and vital necessities.
Homelessness is widely spread all over the world and has become one of the main issues of modern society. There are many ways to temporarily solve this issue and all coming from the residents of the cities where there are many homeless people.
One of those innovative ways is the one created by the kind people in Newport, Wales, who turned a double-decker bus into a temporary place to sleep in. The makeover of the bus was done by the help of the volunteers of HOPE – Helping Open People’s Eyes who collected money for a whole year and invested them into this vehicle. This bus has a room for 12 beds, and also has two showers, two toilets, a kitchen, and a tiny lounge area.
This project was an inspiration of the self-employed bus driver Ian Smith and his wife Tammy from CefnFforest, Blackwood, who are benevolent people always helping the people in need. They saw a similar project in Bristol and decided to help the homeless people in their area with this project:
“We have been feeding the homeless for the last four years. It is getting more and more common and we are seeing a lot more people on the streets.
I first have seen Jasper Thompson and his Bristol Home for the Night campaign. He had a bus there which was converted. I saw his project and I thought what a wonderful thing so I thought we should start fundraising for it.”
They have started to raise money from October 2018 and all came from donations and raffles since Ina’s organization is not a registered charity. Thanks to many generous people he managed to raise enough money to buy a working double-decker bus for around £5,000 (€5850). He successfully converted it into a night shelter at a cost of almost £20,000 (€23,400).
“I think it was £18,000. No grants whatsoever. It was fundraising and people and businesses helping out. It has been hard work but worth it.”
“The amount of help and support has been unbelievable; everybody has pulled together and now the bus is nearly finished.”
In the beginning the bus will drive for a few nights in a week and on the bus there will be at least two of the group’s nine volunteers that will be on duty with the bus.
The HOPE bus does not solve the homelessness, but it is a step forward in solving the issue, as it will “offer a temporary refuge to people living on the streets in the greater Gwent area.”
Their website states the following:
“We are staffed entirely on a volunteer basis, and rely on donations from the public, as well as fundraising events to support our work.
Additionally, we are potentially hoping to recruit volunteer staff specializing in areas relating to drugs, alcohol and housing issues, who will be available, be able to offer much-needed advice and potentially practical support to our clients.”