After walking through an empty parking lot one night, the founder of this charity thought of turning the vacant space into a shelter for the homeless.
Since time immemorial, the issue of homelessness has remained prevalent in different parts of the world. In the United States alone, “a total of 552,830 people were experiencing homelessness on a single night in 2018”, according to HUD’s Annual Point-in-Time Count.
The reasons for individuals losing their homes may vary, but it is almost always caused by circumstances that are out of their control, such as sickness, the loss of jobs, and natural calamities. Having lost the ability to afford anything, homeless people are left with no choice but to live their life on the streets. It is undoubtedly dangerous, but for those who don’t have even a single penny in their pockets, the streets serve as their only refuge.
An Australian charity named Beddown – founded by Norman McGillivray – decided to help these people in desperate need. One night, as Norman was walking through an empty parking lot, he came up with an idea. Since the place is always left unused during the night, why not turn it into a shelter for the homeless?
The organization asked Secure Parking – one of the largest car park operators around – and they agreed to do a two-week trial of the program in Brisbane. After the necessary approvals were made, a group of volunteers began transforming the empty parking lot into a safe environment where the homeless could get a good night’s rest.
Beddown’s mission is to transform common places that are only used in the daytime into shelters for those without a roof over their heads. It was a simple idea, but the difference that it could make is huge.
With the lack of safe spaces, homeless people are at risk of being robbed and attacked. They may also suffer from sleep deprivation, which could lead to other more serious conditions such as depression, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and memory loss.
During the trial, Beddown also provided multiple services to the homeless, such as doctors, nurses, dentists, and hairdressers. They were given new clothes, a place where they could clean themselves, and access to social services.
On their Instagram page, the people behind Beddown wrote about the project:
“We will look to get as close as we can to a proper comfortable bed to provide the homeless with a great night’s sleep is our ultimate goal.
“Sleep deprivation is a massive issue for our homeless, so being in a place that offers shelter and is safe, secure and comfortable we believe will have a big impact on those who use Beddown.”
It appears that the program will push through as the statistics gathered following it looked very promising. Over the two-week duration, a total of 41 guests used Beddown. The average person rated the sleep and the beds 4.5 out of 5. Most importantly, all of the guests said that they felt safe during their stay. A 15-year-old was the youngest person who attempted to access Beddown.bed
We think this is a fantastic idea that should be implemented in societies where homelessness is rampant. These people need all the help they can get, and with organizations like Beddown working to improve their condition, we are seeing that there is a better future out there for them.