Push to bring sleepbus to Bundaberg


A safe night's sleep is something many of us take for granted, but people sleeping rough want nothing more.

As homelessness levels rise across Bundaberg there's a new push to bring a sleepbus to town.

It would provide safe, temporary overnight accommodation. Each sleepbus can provide up to 20 people a sleep “pod” with a toilet, climate control, reading light, USB chargers as well as free-to-air digital TV and a support services channel.

Anyone seeking a bed for the night doesn’t need a referral or to book ahead, they just turn up between 8.30pm and 10pm.

Pets are also welcome in sleep pods with their owners.

Bundaberg Housing and Homelessness Forum co-chair Justin McNellie says a sleepbus is crucial.

“Homelessness in the Bundaberg region has reached a critical level with individuals and even families experiencing homelessness every night," he says.

“The forum got into contact with sleepbus founder Simon Rowe, who was really enthusiastic to help.

“Sleepbus was developed by Simon, operating in Queanbeyan, Canberra and Maroochydore, with more planned around Australia."

Sleepbus founder Simon Rowe says not having access to a safe place to sleep put people at risk both physically and mentally.

"Every single day a person is on the street, the harder and harder it becomes to find a pathway out," he says.

“When a person gets access to a safe place to sleep, things can change quickly.

“It can improve mental and physical health, decrease associated medical expenses and help make a pathway out of homelessness a little easier to see.”

Mr McNellie says it will cost about $100,000 to bring a sleepbus permanently to Bundaberg.

“Once the sleepbus is here, private donors cover the operating costs,” he says.

Donations are needed to get the service running.

A movie fundraiser is on Saturday August 6 at the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre, showing 'A Street Cat Named Bob'.

Find out more here: https://www.ourbundabergregion.com.au/bring-a-sleepbus-to-bundy

Image: Sleepbus