Bus Conversion In Colchester For The Homeless

20 June 2018, 16:01 | Updated: 20 June 2018, 17:16

After a bus that's being converted into a homeless shelter in Colchester, had it's generator stolen during a break in last week, the Colchester Rough Sleepers Group have told Heart the response has been amazing.

Another brand new generator's been given to the project and it's lead to more people donating money.

Christina Shields, who is vice chairman of the Colchester Rough Sleepers Group, told Heart "it sat very heavily on all of our hearts but the public response has been phenominal... we've networked an awful lot so we've met a lot of people who are now willing to donate and get involved."

The group formed within the last year and the bus was only bought in February, after a large amount of donations.

The conversion of the luxury double decker bus, will eventually see bunk beds on the upper level and a social space and drop in centre on the lower level, providing sanctuary to those in need in the town.

It's hoped it'll be ready by the winter, following a street count of rough sleepers in Colchester in October.

It will move around to different places offering support.

Christina told us they're hoping to make assessments on the individuals they know, and hope to offer them support where they may have been turned away elsewhere and also sign post people to other support networks across Colchester.

But she said "we need to differenciate... unfortunately there's a begging population and there's also a vulnerable homeless population. There's a very big difference, although sometimes the two do overlap."

She says the project's always open to volunteers and they'll need people to help when the bus is up and running.