Double-decker answer for the Milton Keynes' homeless?
A redundant double-decker bus is to become home sweet home to 15 rough sleepers in 2017.
The innovative project, which brings a whole new meaning to the words ‘bus shelter’, has been launched by former homeless man Thomas Davis.
The project, called The Bus Shelter MK, already has a steering group, and has been applauded by local housing chief councillor Nigel Long.
Former Shenley Brook End pupil Thomas slept on the streets of MK for 18 months from the age of just 15.
“I got back on my feet but I know how difficult it is. I heard about the bus project in the Isle of Wight and thought it would be ideal for MK,” he said.
The group, which includes CMK street warden Rob Harriman, has set up a funding page to buy the bus, spreading the word through Facebook page The Bus Shelter MK.
The charity Men in Sheds may help convert the bus into 15 ‘pod’ like cabins, with a communal kitchen and bathroom.
There will be electricity, water, plug sockets and hopefully solar heating.
“Each person will also have a PO Box address so they can claim benefits or apply for jobs,” said Thomas, who is 28.
A second-hand double-decker will cost up to £8,000 - it does not matter about the engine as it will be static.The Bus Shelter MK has already approached bus companies.
The conversion work and installing heating, lighting, water and plumbing could cost up to £21,000. But using skills from the Men In Sheds project would slash the bill.
Councillor Nigel Long, said: “The idea of using a bus for rough sleepers has much merit.
“It could provide emergency accommodation and be part of our range of methods to meet the needs of rough sleepers.”
The group is now looking for private or council land to park the bus permanently.Donate via www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/mkmobilebusshelter