An Australian entrepreneur has come up with a revolutionary new idea to help tackle homelessness.
Simone Rowe, 43, from Melbourne wants to solve the problem of homelessness in Australia by creating ‘Sleepbuses’ to provide overnight shelter for rough sleepers, reports The Independent.
According to Mr Rowe, the Sleepbus won’t feed or clothe people, it will just focus on getting them a good night’s rest.
Each bus will have 22 individual ‘sleep pods’, two toilets and facilities like lockers and USB chargers.
The buses – at around $50,000 AUD – are much cheaper and faster to build than a permanent building and take about one week to fit out.
Critics have argued that the scheme may lead society to simply sweep the issue of homelessness under the rug.
However, Mr Rowe argues that a night’s sleep in monitored accommodation (a ‘caretaker’ will be on each bus) is a far safer option than the streets.
If something happens in a Sleepbus, there’s a better chance they can get help than if they’re under a bridge.
The Sleepbus will not provide healthcare or other services – just a safe environment to spend the night.
Mr Rowe says a good night’s rest, can make a huge difference:
Just being able to sleep through the night, warm and safe can give a person a whole new outlook on life.
Mr Rowe’s project was inspired both by an encounter he had with an ‘exhausted’ rough sleeper last year and by a four month period of homelessness in his own life.
Mr Rowe thinks over 300 buses would be needed to provide ‘safe sleeps’ every night of the year – an ambition he hopes to achieve in six years.
It seems like this could really make a difference to people who need it.