An organization has raised £18,000 ($23,984) to convert a double-decker bus into a mobile shelter for homeless people. The bus has been furnished for 12 with two showers, two toilets, a kitchen and a small lounge area.
Volunteers who have lent a helping hand to Helping Open People’s Eveys (HOPE) have been fundraising for over a year to fund the conversion.
Bus driver, Ian Smith, along with his wife, Tammy, first came up with the idea for the night shelter after visiting a similar project last year.
Speaking to Wales Online, he shared:
“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 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.”
The 44-year-old started to fundraise last October through raffles along with donations before purchasing the bus for £5,000 ($6,662) and only needs a few repairs before setting out.
Mr. Smith shared:
“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. We want to get it out before Christmas but it is just whether we can get through these repairs. But we are still looking for funding. To take the bus from Cefn Fforest to Newport is £60 in fuel.”
To learn more about the organization and donate, click here.