Old Robbie Williams tour bus is home sweet home for rough sleepers in Milton Keynes
A converted double decker bus that has been home to more than 30 rough sleepers over the past year could soon be homeless itself.
The Bus Shelter MK project quietly opened its doors a year ago at Campbell Park.
A former 1980s tour bus, once used by Robbie Williams’ stage crew, provides upstairs bunks for eight homeless people at one time, and a downstairs is a living area.
Thanks to dozens of volunteers and a full-time manger, the scheme has proved a resounding success, with ‘guests’ describing it as “five star homeless accommodation.”
But soon it will be time for the bus to move on, as its pitch will become part of the new Campbell Park North side housing development.
The charity is currently in consultation with the council about finding another suitable, quiet patch of land for the bus and its three Portacabin buildings that serve as a kitchen, bathroom block and dining room.
“Ideally we need to find somewhere in the next few months. It’s a shame but hopefully we will find somewhere,” said chair of Bus Shelter MK trustees Pam Williams.
She said the scheme has been even more successful than organisers dreamed and guests, whose ages range from 20 - 74, form a “lovely little community.”
The biggest challenge is finding homes for guests to move on to.
“There is such a shortage of landlords willing to take people on benefits in MK,” said Pam
Up to 60 volunteers help look after the bus dwellers, bringing them home-cooked food every day and helping them to find a permanent home of their own.
The average length of stay for a bus dweller is four months. Over the past year, Bus Shelter MK has put up 31 people and provided advice to 70 more.
The start up cost of the porject was around £100,000 and each night of accommodation costs the charity £25.You can donate via https://www.thebussheltermk.org