Acts of Kindness

Kind volunteers turn a parking lot into a safe haven for the homeless every night

November 18th, 2019

For people who don’t think there’s a homeless problem, all they need to do is look at cities like San Francisco and Portland. However, this is a problem that affects the entire world. Not only is sleeping on the streets unsafe and unhealthy for those without permanent homes but it also has a negative impact on residents and business owners.

So many people have had their lives turned upside down.

A lot of people out on the streets have alcohol and drug addictions. For others, they’ve gone through a horrific divorce, experienced the death of a loved one, came out of the military with PTSD, or had their home foreclosed for one reason or another. The worst part is that many of them have physical and mental health issues. That prevents them from getting a job and paying for necessary healthcare.

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Imgur Source: Imgur

This problem is especially bad during the hot summers and cold winters.

The homeless literally have no place to go. That means they’re forced to sleep on sidewalks, in parks, underneath tunnels, and anywhere else they can find shelter. To stay warm, they scour for cardboard boxes, discarded blankets, and other items they dig out of trash bins. As for food, a lot of homeless individuals go days without putting anything in their stomachs.

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Imgur Source: Imgur

One charity is stepping up to make a difference.

Homelessness is seen around the world. One mane from Australia came up with an ingenious idea to help those in need. He started a charity called Beddown takes advantage of space in empty parking lots and garages. To make his idea work, he asked one of Australia’s largest car park operators if they could run a two-week trial period in Brisbane.

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Beddown via Bored Panda Source: Beddown via Bored Panda

An entire team of volunteers came together to help.

The idea — use the empty parking space so that homeless people would have a safe place to sleep at night. Norman McGillivray, the founder of Beddown, came up with this concept after walking through an empty lot one night. It dawned on him that it would make a perfect place for the homeless to go, out of the elements and into safety.

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Beddown via Bored Panda Source: Beddown via Bored Panda

Implementing his plan.

The focus was to identify common places used only during daytime hours. Then, volunteers would turn those spots into shelters at night. As many people know, a lack of sleep can wreak havoc on the mind and body. For the homeless, that means dealing with things like depression, high blood pressure, memory loss, and even diabetes.

For the homeless addicted to drugs or alcohol, being on the streets makes them a target of attack. While not in the right state of mind, they’re vulnerable to criminal activity, including theft and bodily injury.

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Beddown via Bored Panda Source: Beddown via Bored Panda

More than just a good night’s sleep.

The other part of McGillivray’s plan was to provide services that the homeless need. That includes doctors, dentists, nurses, hairdressers, and a place to clean up. They also arrange for social services and provide new clothes and shoes.

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Beddown via Bored Panda Source: Beddown via Bored Panda

The trial was a huge success.

During the short trial, Beddown had 41 overnight guests. When asked to rate how well they slept, 77 percent gave the experience a 4.5 out of 5. Best of all, everyone who stayed in the parking lot said they felt completely safe while there. Along with helping adult men and women, volunteers had one guest only 15 years of age.

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Beddown via Bored Panda Source: Beddown via Bored Panda

Booking a stay at a Beddown location is easy. To keep everything organized and provide the best quality of care, there is a limited number of beds each night. After the trial ended, the team stated, “Although we had a few challenges to overcome, it was awesome to start bringing Beddown to life.” As one guest said, “It’s the first time I have had a dream in years.”

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Source: Bored Panda

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