Australian Charity Turns Parking Lots Into Safe Havens For The Homeless At Night

by Stephanie

Homelessness is a prominent issue all over the world. There are many reasons a person may become homeless, including illness or losing their job. Someone who has poor health may find it very difficult to begin working in the first place, and therefore may not be able to afford necessary medical treatment. It can become a never-ending cycle.

Homeless people are vulnerable. They may end up sleeping on the streets, with as little as a newspaper or a cardboard box to cover themselves for warmth. They find themselves having to rely on the kindness of strangers, or may even have to rummage through garbage to find food.

There are many charities devoted to trying to help homeless people, and this one in Australia is pretty incredible!

Australian charity, 'Beddown,' came up with the clever idea to make shelters out of places that are vacant at night, such as parking lots. The charity approached one of Australia's largest car park operators, Secure Parking, and they agreed to launch a two-week trial in Brisbane.

Australian charity, 'Beddown,' came up with the clever idea to make shelters out of places that are vacant at night, such as parking lots. The charity approached one of Australia's largest car park operators, Secure Parking, and they agreed to launch a two-week trial in Brisbane.
via: Beddown

This is how the parking lot looked before 'Beddown' and a group of kind volunteers got turned it into a safe environment for homeless people to sleep.

This is how the parking lot looked before 'Beddown' and a group of kind volunteers got turned it into a safe environment for homeless people to sleep.
via: Beddown

The founder of 'Beddown,' Norman McGillivray, came up with the idea whilst walking through an empty parking lot at night.

The founder of 'Beddown,' Norman McGillivray, came up with the idea whilst walking through an empty parking lot at night.
via: Beddown

'Beddown' aims to take places commonly used during the day, which are mostly vacant at night, and turn them into overnight shelters for the homeless.

Many homeless people suffer from sleep deprivation because they don't have a safe or secure place to get a good night's rest. This can lead to many other problems, such as depression, diabetes, obesity, and alcohol or drug abuse.

via: Beddown

The charity also provides guests with services such as doctors, dentists, hairdressers and a safe place to clean themselves.

The charity also provides guests with services such as doctors, dentists, hairdressers and a safe place to clean themselves.
via: Beddown
via: Beddown

“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,” the creators of Beddown wrote on their Instagram page.

via: Beddown
via: Beddown

Here are some statistics from the initial trials of Beddown:

  • 41 guests used Beddown over the duration of the pilot.
  • 77% of them were male and 23% were female.
  • The guests rated the sleep 4.5 out of 5 and the beds 4.5 out of 5 on average.
  • 100% of the guests said they felt safe during their stay.
  • Due to overcapacity, 9 people were turned away in one night.
  • The youngest person who tried to access Beddown was just 15 years old.
via: Beddown
via: Beddown

“It was great to start bringing the Beddown vision to life last night with a group of our awesome volunteers for the Dry Run. Thank you to our awesome group of volunteers who came in late on a Saturday night to help us trial and set-up some beds. Although as expected we had a few challenges to overcome, it was awesome to start bringing Beddown to life. Beddown will provide an immediate response for those who sleep rough to access safe, secure shelter and access to a comfy bed and a great night’s sleep. We will work with our other collaborative partners to provide long term solutions to transition our guests into accommodation, education and employment opportunities and ultimately put ourselves out of business (this is the vision),” they said in one of their Instagram posts.

“After spending the week here, having a good sleep at night and a routine, it reminded me of life and I booked myself into Rehab for 6 months,” one guest said.

“After spending the week here, having a good sleep at night and a routine, it reminded me of life and I booked myself into Rehab for 6 months,” one guest said.
via: Beddown

“Being able to sleep all night and away from drugs, I’m clearer in the day and have not used drugs for 8 days,” said another guest.

“Being able to sleep all night and away from drugs, I’m clearer in the day and have not used drugs for 8 days,” said another guest.
via: Beddown

What do you think of this idea?

Let us know in the comments below and as always, don't forget to like and share this post with your friends!

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