A bus could solve Hailsham’s ‘hidden homeless’ problem

The Rise and Shine Bus could help Hailsham's 'hidden homeless'
The Rise and Shine Bus could help Hailsham's 'hidden homeless'

Homeless people in Hailsham could soon find accommodation in a specially converted bus.

It’s the brainchild of former Hailsham resident, Christopher Bedford, 27 who said: “I’ve got this rusty piece of junk but I’m all set to convert it into somewhere people down on their luck can stay.”

He says he understands their desperation as he had once been homeless. Christopher who’s married and has four children, is now living in Eastbourne having relocated from Hailsham.

But it’s Hailsham which will benefit from his Rise and Shine Signpost project which aims to raise awareness and funds to convert the Volvo Olympia 96 bus into a cosy place to stay. When finished it will become a night shelter with six bedrooms, chill-out and consultating rooms and a kitchen. People will be able to stay for up to 28 days.

He’s currently working on the bus and now needs a suitable spot in Hailsham where it can be parked.

He explained he has been homeless much of his life and understands there are lots of ways anyone can lose their home. They can be unhappy and just decide to walk out, for example after a row or, or be released from prison early in the morning and have nowhere to go. Christopher is working with other agencies to provide help in the town and feels Hailsham has what he describes as a ‘hidden homeless’ problem.

His cause, ‘Rise and Shine Signpost’ recognises difficulties people have getting help and aims to close the gap to cater for people in need when other services might be closed.

He knows homelessness is a real hardship and has experienced camping in tents, sofa surfing and even squatting before it became illegal. Now he asks any organisation or individual in the town for their help find a good space to park his renovated bus. Find out more: Google Rise and Shine Signpost where you’ll find his Facebook address and various details about the scheme.