The aim is to use public places that are commonly used only during the daytime and turn them into a pop-up shelter for the homeless each night.
Homelessness is still an issue in several parts of the world. Irrespective of how they got there, the problem is that their needs and health are being severely neglected. I agree all of us have our own issues, but how many of us have honestly thought about those who are living out on the streets while we snuggle under our blankets comfortably every night? In almost every part of the world, it's just getting colder by the day and the nights are the worst. Several cities are making it difficult for these people to curl up in a corner and sleep, by adding obstacles to benches and porches.
Hunger is another real issue that's prevalent around the world, especially among the homeless. Due to desperation, they will do just about anything to keep them warm. They will cover themselves up with newspapers and cardboards to stay warm, and since they don't really have an option, they will dig through trash to see if they can find anything to eat. Thankfully, there are a few good people on earth who devote all their time to help the unfortunate.
An Australian non-profit organization named Beddown has sought to overcome this issue by tacking these abysmal "living" conditions that the homeless in Brisbane suffer from. To tackle the problems of the homeless, the charity decided to convert unoccupied spaces into shelters for these people to rest up each night, and they found the perfect place to help them. Parking lots are usually empty each night once everyone goes home, so they decided to convert parking spaces in to safe havens.
Beddown approached one of the biggest car park operators in Brisbane, Secure Parking, with a proposal and they've now been granted a two-week trial to launch their initiative in the city. It's safe to say that they have done a great job with the initiative so far. The charity got a few of their volunteers to work at the parking lots and the before and after pictures are truly heartwarming, and also quite gives you hope that humanity is not completely lost.
This initiative was put forth by Norman McGillivray, who is the founder of Beddown. He came up with the idea when he was walking through an empty parking lot at night and thought "why not use it as a shelter?". A lot of planning had to go into the whole process, but eventually, Norman and his group did make it happen. "There's hundreds of [homeless] people losing their lives every year to suicide, diseases, pneumonia," McGilvray told 9News Australia.
“We will look to get as close as we can to a proper comfortable bed to provide the homeless with a great night’s sleep is our ultimate goal. Sleep deprivation is a massive issue for our homeless, so being in a place that offers shelter and is safe, secure and comfortable we believe will have a big impact on those who use Beddown” – Beddown wrote on their Instagram page. According to them, free food, showers, laundry services, doctors and nurses, dentists, hairdressers, chaplaincy, counseling - even legal services - will be soon made available to the homeless.
Beddown's main aim is to use public places that are commonly used only during the daytime, and turn them into safe havens for the homeless each night. Several homeless people in the world are victims of sleep deprivation because of the abysmal conditions they have to endure while living out on the streets. The majority of the homeless are also afflicted with depression, diabetes, hypertension, memory loss, obesity and more with impaired cognitive functioning that almost always leads to them abusing alcohol and drugs. Hopefully, Beddown is a step towards ending such issues.