Community Bank Hervey Bay is excited to announce the arrival of Hervey Bay’s own sleepbus which they have funded with a donation to the community to the value of $100,000.
This investment has enabled the build of a sleepbus® vehicle, which will provide a safe, temporary overnight accommodation service, getting people off the street by offering an immediate, first stop, cost-effective solution for our society’s most vulnerable, catching them early until they can get back on their feet.
Each sleepbus® has up to 20 secure, climate controlled, individual sleep pods with a lockable door and toilet. Everyone is looked after with overnight volunteer caretakers and CCTV surveillance, we have under bus storage for belongings, and pets are welcome to stay also.
Sleepbus® is the brainchild of Simon Rowe, with multiple services operating across Australia, which have provided more than 1,500 safe sleeps to people in need. Simon understands the feeling of being homeless when in his 20s, found himself evicted from his rental and lived in his car for four months. His story is very relevant today with a housing crisis being one of the biggest social issues Australia is facing. After a successful business career, his devotion to this cause
is “hands on” as he works on the full refurbishment of each bus with his small team. He states, “sleep changes everything.
Locally owned and operated, Community Bank Hervey Bay is part of Bendigo Bank, one of Australia’s biggest banks where profits are returned to the people and local community that generates them.
Tim Evans, Branch Manager for Community Bank Hervey Bay, is excited that the sleepbus has generated much anticipation from the community.
“Homelessness is a heartbreaking reality in our community. We see the issues first hand for affordable housing and we love making it possible for families to find a home but we understand not everyone can achieve this.”
Mr Evans says the importance of central and accessible locations for the sleepbus was the key consideration for discussions with the Fraser Coast Regional Council.
The sleepbus will be based most nights at Apex Park car park from 8pm to 8am subject to a six month trial period through the approval of Fraser Coast Regional Council. The sleepbus returns to the depot during the day for cleaning and reset tasks.
Mr Evans is also excited about an announcement in making sleepbus available for viewing by the public prior to service launch to gather support of volunteers and sponsorship to ensure the long term viability of this project.
There will be a private viewing of shareholders and the local Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce members on Friday 21st April, followed by a public opening at Apex Park on Saturday morning Saturday 22nd April 9 am-12 noon.
Sleepbus founder Simon Rowe also congratulated the Hervey Bay Community Bank for their investment and for working with the Fraser Coast Regional Council “to facilitate a fantastic parking location for sleepbus.”
Article submitted by Community Bank Hervey Bay