The joint initiative between Yellow Buses and Sleepsafe is helping the homeless in Bournemouth off the streets and into work and accommodation.
Sleepsafe is an annual area-wide project from October to March, involving many different organisations and administered by Winton-based Faithworks Wessex, which aims to give rough sleepers in Bournemouth ‘a place to stay’.
This year, Bournemouth-based Yellow buses is providing Smartcards to less fortunate people so they can travel to Sleepsafe venues, appointments and even job interviews.
Sleepsafe, which costs £70,000 a year to run, has already helped 16 people off the street into more secure accommodation in two months, in 2019– following success with 48 guests during the 2018 project.
With more than 300 volunteers this year, 16 churches across town are opening their doors for a week at a time, serving a hot meal, giving space to wash, putting up 12 beds and providing a decent breakfast.
Chief Executive of Faithworks Wessex, Alistair Doxat-Purser, said: “The guests are so grateful and it means that another barrier is removed and they can start to believe in a better future.
Standing shoulder to shoulder with partners like Yellow Buses is restoring hope for those in crisis.”
Fiona Harwood, Marketing and Sales Manager of Yellow Buses, commented: “We were really keen to get involved with the Sleepsafe initiative and would encourage any individuals or businesses looking for an extremely worthwhile cause to support in this season of goodwill to consider lending a hand.”
One Sleepsafe client said: “Before Sleepsafe I slept in a bin liner under a hedge – Sleepsafe saved my life and turned my life around.”