A Stagecoach double decker earmarked for scrap has much better destiny as a homeless shelter as it has been converted into a place to rest for 12 people at a time, complete with a fitted kitchen and toilet.
“Someone suggested to me in 2016, ‘why don’t you get a bus and convert it into a homeless shelter?”Joanne Vines, from Lee-on-Solent, said.
“I thought about it and thought about it. In January I put a plea out on social media saying, ‘Would anyone like to offer me a bus?’ And I got three offers! One of those was from bus company Stagecoach, which donated a twenty year old 72-seater Volvo Olympian double-decker bus, complete with MOT, for Joanne to convert. The bus has gone from 72 seats to 12 beds.”
The transformation is the brainchild of Sammy Barcroft and Joanne Vines from The Rucksack Project, which collects rucksacks full of essential items for the homeless.
Joanne and Sammy had spent around £6,000, raised through crowdfunding or donations, but the build is worth around £25,000.
It is now stationed at a local church in Portsmouth, which will run it as a shelter as part of a project to help the homeless. The whole thing took eight months to complete.
“Portsmouth is a community town – they have always embraced the Rucksack Project so I rode it on the back of that and had a great response,” Joanne said.
After the public view the bus, it will be moved to St Agatha’s Church in Portsmouth where it will form part of the church’s Robert Dolling Project, which will provide help to the area’s homeless.
There are a number of homeless buses across the UK, as part of efforts to help the growing number of people sleeping rough. In August, homelessness charity Crisis warned that the number of people forced into homelessness is expected to more than double to half a million by 2041 unless the government takes immediate action.
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