In a bid to help the homeless, a group of social entrepreneurs are converting shipping containers into shelters and accommodation for rough sleepers.
The project is being run by Help Bristol’s Homeless, and aims to provide accommodation for a rough sleeper for a year, while helping to find them a more permanent place to live.
Colliers International, the property company which converted two shipping containers, are just one of a handful of Bristol businesses who are involved in the project, including EDF Energy, Barratt Homes, and Balfour Beatty.
Each shipping container has been converted into a living space, which holds a lounge, kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom.
Jasper Thompson, an Army veteran who founded Help Bristol’s Homeless in 2017, said:
It’s been a whole community effort. The most important thing is that the homeless people who are here are the ones leading the project.
It’s about everyone working together, learning trades and people pulling each other up.
We’re registering as a social enterprise, we’d love to see this work and roll more places out there. We’ve shown what can be done with a bit of energy and support.
Jasper set up the charity after feeling he needed to do more to help the city’s rough sleepers.
He came up with the idea of converting old shipping containers to use as temporary accommodation.
Everyone who’ll stay in the containers will have been referred there after an assessment, and they’ll also be provided with the support they need to get back on their feet.
The homeless people also help with refitting and designing the shipping containers.
They’re also given opportunities to develop skills by helping in the conversion of the containers into homes.
Tim Davies, head of South West and Wales at Colliers International, said:
Staff in the Bristol office have always rolled up their sleeves and got involved in Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives.
This ambitious project takes that to a new level, as by helping to transform former shipping containers into temporary homes Colliers staff will also be helping to transform the lives of homeless people in Bristol.
If you’d like to get involved or donate to the charity, you can contact Help Bristol’s Homeless here.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.