Bus Shelter Ipswich project for the homeless gets £5K boost
- Credit: Archant
A Suffolk digital marketing agency is supporting homeless people in the county and has made a £5,000 donation to get The Bus Shelter, Ipswich’s outreach bus, on the road.
Itineris, which has offices in Copdock made the donation after seeing a Facebook campaign appealing for £50 donations to cover insurance costs and final renovations to the former school bus.
Established in November 2017, The Bus Shelter Ipswich is a community interest company that provides free accommodation, advice and support to vulnerable people in and around the Ipswich area via its first converted bus, called 'Tiffers', and two outreach vans.
The organisation was appealing for funds to help finalise a second bus, called 'Cheys', which will be a mobile drop-in and advice centre. According to the Rough Sleeping in England report, homelessness in Ipswich has increased by over 60% since 2010.
Marketing manager at Itineris, Rechenda Smith, said: "We saw the good work that The Bus Shelter Ipswich does for local homelessness and immediately wanted to help.
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"Instead of giving just a £50 gift, we wanted to fund the full balance of the target to ensure Cheys could be fulfilled and local people in need could access the vital support that The Bus Shelter Ipswich team provides.
"We are looking forward to seeing the outreach bus up and running and helping vulnerable people for years to come."
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The Bus Shelter Ipswich has helped re-house and rehabilitate eight people affected by street homelessness in the Ipswich area since its inception while another 50 people have benefitted from advice.
Whilst the bus can accommodate 14 rough sleepers in a severe weather emergency situation it holds four to six residents comfortably at any one time. The second bus will focus on outreach but will also offer accommodation.
Gareth Brenland, of The Bus Shelter Ipswich, added: We don't get government or local authority funding, so rely totally on the support of the public.
"This gift will allow us to get our outreach bus up-and-running and help even more people affected by homelessness in Ipswich and beyond."