Most of us have never had to question our sleeping arrangements. But it’s a question that thousands of people who live on the streets ask themselves on a regular basis.
Everyone needs to feel comfortable and have a place to sleep at night. Unfortunately, homeless shelters can only host a small number of people. When the sun goes down, though, a parking garage in Brisbane, Australia, serves a greater purpose thanks to one organization’s brilliant idea.
Norm McGillivray is passionate about the topic of homelessness. When his parents divorced in the 1970s, his father started living on the streets of London. Since suffering a heart attack, he died there. That is what prompted Norm to create Beddown.
The goal of the non-profit is to fight homelessness by making use of spaces that are only used during the day, such as parking garages. So, in collaboration with Secure Parking, Australia’s largest car park provider, they’ve planned to turn the structures into safe havens every evening, carrying in blow-up mattresses and comfortable bedding.
“Sleep deprivation is a massive issue for our homeless, so being in a place which offers shelter and is safe, secure and comfortable we believe will have a big impact on those who use Beddown,” the charity wrote.
Beddown began in late September with a two-week trial in Brisbane, during which they housed 41 guests. According to the charity, “100% of guests said they felt safe during their stay.”
Other facilities that guests appreciated were dental care, haircuts, baths, fresh clothing, social services, and the consistency of a daily routine. One woman even got a career as a result of it!
“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.
Another added, “It’s the first time I have had a dream in years,” while yet another simply said, “I don’t have to watch my back here.”
What a big difference! According to Norm, this is just the beginning. They plan to broaden their project and, as a result, “put ourselves out of business” by removing the need for their services. Click here to see where they’ll be bringing Beddown next in Australia, and consider contributing to the cause as well.
Support Our Cause
We believe everyone deserves a bed to sleep in.
Help Beddown provide rest and shelter to more people on the street by donating a mattress or becoming a volunteer.
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