Sunday, 26 June 2022

    Carpark provides beds for homeless

    A Queensland charity is transforming an empty city carpark into a pop-up shelter for the homeless, in an Australian first, 9 News reports.

    Norm McGillivray is the founder and CEO of Beddown, a charity dedicated to helping some of our most vulnerable to get off the streets.

    “We do change people’s lives and save people’s lives,” Mr McGillivray told A Current Affair reporter Pippa Bradshaw.

    The idea was born from Mr McGillivray’s own heartache, after his father died while living on the streets in London.

    Mr McGillivray was walking through an empty carpark when the idea for Beddown first struck.

    “It’s about taking space that’s busy during the day and left empty and vacant and we come in and activate and re-purpose that space into pop up accommodation,” he said.

    Inflatable mattresses are placed on crates, complete with a pillow, doona and a special handwritten note.

    As guests check in for the night, they are welcomed with free food, a hot shower, laundry services and a community of people to talk to.

    “Every night we bring in services such as doctors, nurses, dentists, social workers, new clothes, food and beverages, that looks to restore dignity, respect, self-esteem and confidence back to our guests,” Mr McGillivray said.

    “We can provide some basic medication, some basic pain relief because we did see some guests with some bad, advanced type problems,” Dr Walsh said.

    For Ben Sculthorpe, it’s been a while since he’s had a bed of his own, having been on the street for two years.

    But now, thanks to Beddown, he has his first job in years.

    Beddown can set up 21 beds in the carpark, but they quickly reach capacity every night.


    The carpark operation providing beds for the homeless (9 News)