Australian Beddown charity aims to provide a comfortable bedspace for the homeless for the night. A home is one of the basic necessities of humans to survive. Unfortunately, there are approximately 4,000 homeless people sleeping rough around the city on any given night. In New South Wales alone, the homeless population has reportedly increased by more than 30 percent in five years. For this reason, the charity decided to provide a comfy shelter where homeless people can spend the night.
Homelessness can be caused by various factors. Lack of affordable housing, lawful eviction, natural disasters, fire, foreclosure, having no family or supportive relatives, to name a few. In order to survive the night, homeless people often sleep on the streets. With nothing but cardboard boxes as a bed, they use newspapers as a blanket to cover themselves.
These woeful living conditions inspired Norman McGillivray to establish the charity. Together with a group of compassionate volunteers, the charity is working toward creating a safe environment for homeless people to sleep at night.
How Was Beddown Created?
McGillivray came up with the brilliant idea while he was walking through a parking lot which was empty at night. Right there and then, he thought of turning the parking lot into a temporary comfy shelter during the night. By placing beds over the empty lot, homeless people can finally get a good night’s rest. Furthermore, it comes complete with blankets and pillows to make their stay more comfortable.
To make this idea a reality, they reached out to Secure Parking, one of the country’s biggest car park operators. The charitable institution proposed the humanitarian project of using the empty parking lot as a shelter at night. Good news, the car park operator agreed to launch the project on a two-week trial in Brisbane.
Charity collaborates with Secure Parking to turn the empty parking lot into a shelter at night
Aside from the beds, they also provided other useful services. These include bathrooms, new clothes, medical assistance, grooming services, and social services.
“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 organization wrote on their Instagram page.
Within the two-week duration of the first pilot, the project has helped 41 guests get a comfy bedspace for the night. Due to the limited number of beds, there are some homeless people who were turned away. Based on the initial statistics, the youngest person who checked in was just 15 years old. The dry run was a huge success and the initiative has won worldwide applause on social media. Now, people are wondering if there’s a possibility for the project to push through as a long-term program.
“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)”, the organization wrote on their Instagram page.
Charity founder Norman McGillivray testing out one of the beds
You can also lend a hand and show your support by making a donation to the organization. Visit the official website to learn how you can help them provide a safe and comfortable environment for the homeless.