New Organization Turns Empty Parking Lots into Safe Places Where the Homeless Can Sleep at Night


Unfortunately, homelessness is a problem across the entire world. Walk or drive through any city across the globe, and you’ll see down-on-their-luck men and women sleeping in doorways, on park benches, or anywhere else they can try to find some momentary peace.

An Australian charity organization called Beddown is looking to give that country’s homeless population safe places to sleep by providing pop-up accommodations in parking lots that are vacant overnight.

Beddown partnered with Secure Parking, one of Australia’s largest parking lot operators, to do a two-week trial run for the program in the city of Brisbane.

Norman McGillivray founded Beddown after he got the idea while walking through an empty parking lot one night. He thought that the space could be better used as a makeshift homeless shelter than by just sitting empty night after night.

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Some time lapse footage of us setting up some of our beds for our guests ❤️ Thanks to @cossdog16 for capturing our set up. #homelessness #homeless #streetlife #storyofthestreet #beds #globalshift #queensland #brisbane #nsw #sydney #victoria #melbourne #southaustralia #adelaide #westernaustralia #perth #northernterritory #darwin #tasmania #australia #nonprofit #selfesteem #community #usa #uk #quality #endhomelessness #timelapse

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On their Instagram page, the founders of Beddown said,

“We will look to get as close as we can to a proper comfortable bed to provide the homeless with a great night’s sleep is our ultimate goal. Sleep deprivation is a massive issue for our homeless, so being in a place that offers shelter and is safe, secure and comfortable we believe will have a big impact on those who use Beddown.”

Beddown also provides other services in the overnight parking lots, including access to doctors, dentists, and hairdressers. Because the two-week trial in Brisbane was a success, Beddown is now looking to expand to other cities in Australia.

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Here are some initial Statistics and Outcomes from the Pilot: 41 guests used Beddown over the duration of the Pilot. 77% male 23% female guests Sleep rated on average – 4.5 out of 5 Beds rated on average – 4.5 out of 5 100% of guests said they felt safe during their stay. Multiple services accessed by guests – Dr & Nurse, Dentist, Hairdresser, New clothing and Social Services. The most guests turned away in one night due to capacity was 9. The youngest person who tried to access Beddown was just 15 years old. Positive outcomes: “After spending the week here, having a good sleep at night and a routine, it reminded me of life and I booked myself into Rehab for 6 months”. “Being able to sleep all night and away from drugs I’m clearer in the day and have not used drugs for 8 days”. “It’s the first time I have had a dream in years” “I don’t have to watch my back here” A Female guest found employment due to being able to sleep safely at night and able to work during the day. More data being accessed and will be shared soon. This is just the beginning! We now need support from Corporate, Government and the Public to make Beddown a sustainable operation and allow us to roll out across Australia to really help change and save lives. #homelessness #homeless #streetlife #storyofthestreet #beds #globalshift #queensland #brisbane #nsw #sydney #victoria #melbourne #southaustralia #adelaide #westernaustralia #perth #northernterritory #darwin #tasmania #australia #nonprofit #selfesteem #community #usa #uk #quality #endhomelessness #lifechanger

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Let’s keep our fingers crossed that this program succeeds in Australia and then spreads to other parts of the globe. It’s a great idea that could definitely help out a lot of people who are struggling.