Old London double deckers are being given a new lease of life as shelters for homeless people.
Buses 4 Homeless was founded in 2018, and converts the decommissioned vehicles into spaces for sleeping, eating and learning.
Four double decker buses were donated to the cause by Stagecoach in January 2019. Two have been converted into Buses 4 Shelter, each offering a space to sleep for up to 20 people per night. Another one has been converted into a dining bus with a fully functional kitchen. As well as offering cooked meals for the guests, it's hoped that some will get the chance to learn cooking skills by preparing meals for others.
The Bus 4 Learning is a volunteer-run space, offering homeless people advice and emotional support, by establishing what led to them sleeping rough in the first place, and highlighting ways into vocational qualifications.
The project isn't just about providing short term accommodation for those in need. Places on the bus are offered on a three-month basis, forming an intensive support programme to allow people to improve their physical and mental wellbeing, and learn the skills they need to get back on their feet
Anyone offered shelter on the bus is encouraged to do a good deed within the community — anything from volunteering with a local charity to helping paint the fences for a local church.
Currently, Buses 4 Homeless is using a bus garage in Thornton Heath as its base. It was evicted from its previous home in May 2019 when the yard was sold off, and moved into its current location, on loan from Arriva London. However, Buses4Homeless founder Dan Atkins is appealing for the public's helping in finding a permanent base, ideally in the Croydon vicinity as that is where he and many of his team are based.
You can offer financial support to Buses4Homeless via Spacehive. The current fundraising target is £157,487 by August 2019, and if that's met, the project could receive further support from the Mayor's Crowdfund London initiative. Follow Buses4Homeless on Facebook for further updates.