A formerly-homeless Australian man is converting a bus into a mobile shelter to provide more than eight-thousand “safe sleeps” per year.
Simon Rowe has raised more than $100,000 in a crowdfunding campaign for his “SleepBus” project designed to shelter 22 homeless people– and their pets, at the same time.
He sees it as a short-term solution to give homeless folks a safe place to stay overnight–and hopes to have 300 of the buses cruising around Australia within six years.
The SleepBus will feature 22 private “sleeping pods” (above) — small compartments similar to Japanese capsule hotels. Each pod will have a mattress, sheets, and blankets — washed daily — USB ports for charging cell phones, individual climate controls, and a TV with a special channel devoted to advertising services available to the homeless.
Each pod will also have a roll-top door that can be locked for privacy and security. In addition, the SleepBus will have two restrooms, pet kennels, and storage for belongings along with an overnight caretaker.
Because they’re mobile, the buses can move around a city to areas where they are most needed.
Each bus and its conversion is expected to cost $50,000 and the first bus is already under construction.
The idea of retrofitting a bus to help the homeless is being tried in the U.S. as well. Project LIFT in Hawaii launched last year to turn unused city buses into homeless shelters and California nonprofit Lava Mae began turning buses into mobile shower stations for San Francisco’s homeless in 2013.
Rowe was homeless himself for four months in 1993 and was spurred to action last year when the sight of a homeless man sleeping on a Melbourne street brought back memories — and brought him to tears.
“No one should have to live like that,” Rowe told the Daily Telegraph. “I want to help people get off the streets now, even if it’s only overnight.” MULTIPLY the Good! Share This…