By Mayukh Saha / Truth Theory
Newport is soon going to get a double-decker bus which will be a ‘HOPE’ for homeless people. A group called Helping Open People’s Eyes (HOPE) has brought this concept into action by building this bus. The bus will have 12 beds, 2 toilets, 2 showers, a lounge, and a kitchen. It aims to provide a temporary sleeping place for homeless people.
The required fund for this bus was raised by the volunteer group over a course of more than a year. Their dream is about to come true when the bus will finally hit the road.
Ian Smith from Cefn Forest, Blackwood, is to drive the bus. He and his wife, Tammy, got the idea for HOPE bus from a similar project they saw in Bristol.
The couple has fed the homeless for the last 4 years and wanted to do more for them. They witnessed how the homeless condition deteriorated. Jasper Thompson from Bristol became their ideal. He had a bus of his own which he converted into something for the homeless. It was inspiration enough for Ian to start raising money. Ian is a self-employed driver who owns a minibus.
The group HOPE is not a registered one. So, most of the fundraising was via raffles and proper donations.
Ian bought a double-decker bus that once used to run on the streets of London. The £5000 bus – the HOPE for homeless people – was then converted into the bus that is set to hit the road soon.
This project cost around £20,000 in total. Though the bus still requires some repairs, Ian is confident that HOPE will be ready in a few weeks.
To cover the fuel expense of £60 (from Cefn Forest to Newport), more funding is needed. Also, the initial plan is to open the bus for a few nights per week. Gradually the bus will be open at all nights. Minimum 2 volunteers will be on duty while the bus is being used.
There are many unfortunate people on the streets and projects such as this one is a HOPE for homeless people. The success of this project will encourage others to start with similar endeavors.
Let’s hope this HOPE for homeless people will start rolling down the streets by Christmas.
You can learn more about HOPE from their website.
Image Credits: Ian Smith