Don’t sleep on this innovative homelessness project

Don’t sleep on this innovative homelessness project

A new project to provide Canberra’s homeless women with safe temporary accommodation is underway with crowdfunding and the support of Tuggeranong Uniting Church.

The project is a collaborative effort between the National Council of Women ACT, Safe Shelter ACT, and churches such as Tuggeranong Uniting Church.

The ‘Sleep Bus’ is a converted bus that provides temporary accommodation to women experiencing homelessness, and will be parked in different church car parks across north and south Canberra each night.

The Sleep Bus will operate every day of the year and will have dedicated pet pods.

National Council of Women ACT committee member Juanita Flett recently told The Canberra Times that the Sleep Bus project intended to fill a gap in services for homeless women in the Territory.   

A project that caters to men experiencing homelessness, Safe Shelter, operates during winter at a number of churches in the ACT, including St Columba’s Uniting Church Braddon.

“Our intention is to have it operating in Canberra by May 2020, in time for the coldest months,” Ms Flett said.

A similar Sleep Bus project is currently being trialled in Melbourne. The concept is an innovation from entrepreneur Simon Rowe, who himself previously experienced homelessness when he was in his twenties.

The twenty-bed service will include personal lockers, two toilets, air conditioning, and a television. It will be free for clients to access.

To finalise the Sleep Bus project, organisers have started a Go Fund Me campaign.

At the time of writing, this crowdfunding effort was close to reaching its $30,000 goal, with just over $28,000 raised.

The service will be able to take single women, women with children, and women with companion animals.

To donate to the Sleep Bus campaign, visit the Go Fund Me page here.

Jonathan Foye is Insights’ Editor

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2 thoughts on “Don’t sleep on this innovative homelessness project”

  1. Sounds visionary, but what does “will be parked in different church car parks across Canberra each night”? Does it drive around, picking up the same people each night? Not very clear. I’d love to learn more.

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