THE Community Bank Hervey Bay has thrown its weight behind an initiative that will provide overnight accommodation to people sleeping rough on the Fraser Coast.
It was confirmed at the local community bank’s recent AGM that a $100,000 investment will be made towards a bus that will be converted into a mobile sleeping space for up to 20 people each night.
The initiative is in partnership with sleepbus.
A sleepbus is a refurbished coach that provides a safe and comfortable overnight environment for the homeless.
It includes climate controlled individual sleep pods (sheets, linen and a pillow included), CCTV surveillance, free-to-air TV, USB charging points and toilets.
sleepbus is the branchild of Simon Rowe and now manages eight vehicles across Australia, providing more than 1,000 people a week with much improved sleeping arrangements.
Simon knows what it means to be homeless.
While in his 20s, Simon lived in his car for four months after being evicted from a rental home.
He believes a good sleep can change everything.
Community Bank Hervey Bay Branch Manager Tim Evans said he was excited about the sleepbus rolling into Hervey Bay and hoped the community would get behind the project.
“Homelessness is becoming a real problem for our community and the current housing market indicates further challenges for affordable housing,” he said.
“We love making it possible for families to find a home but we understand not everyone can achieve this.
“We have been searching for a project to support the homeless community and we wanted to come up with a solution that could be implemented quickly and effectively.”
Tim said the entire staff was eager to get involved in a project after a homeless person who used to visit the branch regularly passed away.
Acting Chairperson for the branch, Gerard O’Connell said the initiative has been well-received by shareholders and staff.
“For two years we have been searching for a project that will make a significant difference to people’s lives and the general community,” he said.
“We feel sleepbus provides so much for many who have so little. Our organisation is excited about introducing sleepbus to the Fraser Coast.”
Following The Community Bank Hervey Bay investment, the vehicle can now be purchased and fitted out.
It’s expected to be on the roads by the beginning of winter 2022.
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