Car parking full of beds: Solution for Homeless?

Updated: Feb 1

Helping the homeless get out of the hell of the street and go through a decent night of sleep. At least that's what the founder of Beddown, Norm McGillivray, thinks . 42 years old, this Australian had the idea of ​​transforming unused urban spaces into emergency night shelters for the homeless. The first spaces on which he focused his project are the car parking. Car parks are very busy places during the day, but during the night they are generally empty.

In addition, they are generally located in the down towns, where the phenomenon of homelessness is mainly concentrated. "I was walking in a completely empty parking lot, when it struck me that this huge space could be used differently," he said, in an interview with 9news.

The first person Mr. McGillivray had to convince was Peter Anson, CEO of Secure Parking, which operates more than 600 parking lots in Australia and New Zealand. "Large companies are regularly approached by non-profit organizations. But, this one really woke up something in me. I have had the privilege of traveling overseas and seeing the phenomenon of homelessness in large. It’s too easy to say that it’s complicated. Big companies have to take responsibility for helping these homeless people, " says Peter Anson.

Norm McGillivray still had to wait a year to gain the support necessary to carry out his project, but since the end of September 2019, that's it: the first parking lot transformed into housing for homeless people was born in Brisbane. It has about fifteen beds, two people, equipped with air mattresses, sheets, pillows and duvets.

Norm McGillivray installed showers there, and provided homeless people, a doctor, a nurse, a dentist and hairdressers. Food and drink are also provided. "Sleep deprivation is a huge problem, but it's not just about finding these people a safe place to sleep. It's also about helping these people change their lives and saving them. By time, the homeless lose self-confidence, lose their dignity, and respect for themselves. We can help them find themselves again