A sleeping bus, a cooking bus, and working bus and a meeting bus – all part of the care infrastructure developed by Buses4Homeless and supported by event industry charity Meeting Needs – were inspected by members of the charity’s executive committee during a recent visit.
Led by chair Jason Wilcock, the visit to The London site for the project at HS2’s North Acton base, demonstrated how the Meeting Needs grant has been used to provide safe, clean and dry sleeping accommodation for homeless people but the project endeavours to do much more. By counselling and training the men staying there, Buses4Homeless tries to get homeless people back into work by helping with applications for jobs and interview training. The ‘kitchen bus’ also helps them get nutritious food while encouraging a sense of community and responsibility.
Founder Dan Atkins took Meeting Needs volunteers on a tour of the site. He said: “There is a job rota here and we expect the guys to stick with it – whether it is cooking, cleaning or whatever. We work hard to encourage a positive attitude and we expect them to try hard, too. A lot of them have emotional problems which is why they have become homeless in a lot of cases but we also help them to get the confidence back so they can take control of their lives again.”
MN Committee Member Lisa Lernoux Dock said: “Dan and his team have done a fantastic job in creating a safe refuge for homeless people but I have been really impressed by their efforts to get people’s lives back on track by overcoming some of the difficulties placed in their paths. It is a super project for us to have supported.”