A NEW sleepbus offering overnight accommodation for the homeless and vulnerable is another step closer to becoming a reality on the Fraser Coast.
Hervey Bay Bendigo Community Bank and sleepbus announced last year they had joined forces to convert a bus into a safe, mobile sleeping space for up to 20 people each night.
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Fraser Coast Regional Council today approved the use of the carpark at Apex Park in Pialba as the site for the bus to operate from for a six-month trial period.
The sleepbus, expected to be delivered and start operating in January 2023, will be available for those requiring the service between 8pm and 8am.
During the day, the sleepbus would return to its depot to be cleaned and reset.
WATCH: Modified bus to provide shelter for Hervey Bay homeless
The vehicle includes climate controlled individual sleep pods with sheets, linen and a pillow included, along with a lockable door and toilet.
It also includes overnight security and CCTV surveillance, storage for belongings, a place for pets, and a twin cabin for overnight volunteers.
Fraser Coast Division 5 Councillor Jade Wellings said the current housing crisis had left many people without a roof over their heads and the sleepbus would help those currently sleeping rough.
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“It’s important that governments at all levels work together and work with businesses, charities and individuals to address the challenging housing issues confronting our community,” Cr Wellings said.
“Council congratulates the Hervey Bay Bendigo Community Bank and sleepbus for providing this service, which will do so much for those in our community who have so little.
Off the street
“This is about getting people off the street and offering an immediate, first stop, cost effective solution for our society’s most vulnerable, catching them early until they can get back on their feet.”
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The sleepbus organisation is a registered not-for-profit charity that currently provides services in Canberra, Maroochydore and Queanbeyan, with further services planned for Sydney, Melbourne and Byron Bay.
More information is available at https://www.sleepbus.org/
Meanwhile, Fraser Coast residents have a few more days to have their say on a proposed local law change that would allow people to let family or friends live in a caravan in their yard for up to six months.
The changes would allow people to help family or friends who can’t find rental accommodation.
Councillor Wellings said the proposed law changes would not solve the current housing crisis but would allow people to look after their loved ones when they need it most.
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What about a place to shower, maybe the Council could install one in the park and give the key to the driver of the bus to lock and unlock as needed. Homeless people would enjoy a nice shower on a hot summer day just like you and me.