Project to turn bus into Portsmouth homeless shelter is on schedule

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THE people behind a project to turn a bus into a homeless shelter are pleased with its progress.

It is hoped the ex-Stagecoach double-decker will be ready for use by November.

At the launch of The Bus Project are (l-r): Cllr Paul Godier, Cllr Steve Wemyss, Cllr Robert New, Cllr Jim Fleming, Cllr Jennie Brent, council leader Donna Jones, Rucksack Project's Joanne Vines, Cllr Luke Stubbs, Cllr Linda Symes, Rucksack Project's Sammy Barcroft, Portsmouth City Council's housing options manager Elaine Bastable

At the launch of The Bus Project are (l-r): Cllr Paul Godier, Cllr Steve Wemyss, Cllr Robert New, Cllr Jim Fleming, Cllr Jennie Brent, council leader Donna Jones, Rucksack Project's Joanne Vines, Cllr Luke Stubbs, Cllr Linda Symes, Rucksack Project's Sammy Barcroft, Portsmouth City Council's housing options manager Elaine Bastable

The Bus Project, launched by Joanne Vines and Sammy Barcroft, will give homeless people in Portsmouth somewhere to clean up, have food and sleep for the night.

Donations and volunteers are still rolling in to support the scheme, including Havant firm Genie Acrylics.

Owner Colin Rose saw an article in The News about the project and was keen to help.

He said: ‘I got in touch with Jo after reading the story and asked if there was anything we could help with.

It is thanks to people like Colin that we have been able to get this project nearly completed.

Joanne Vines

‘We have provided the splashbacks in the bathroom and added some to the kitchen too. All the prints and signage will also be provided by us.

‘The acrylics are scratch-resistant, anti-microbial and anti-mould acrylics – we are using our best material.

‘I was keen to get involved because it is a great idea.’

Since getting the bus earlier this year, Joanne and her team of volunteers have taken out the seats, bells and handles, put in a kitchen, built a bathroom space, added storage and put in electricity.

The interior of the homeless bus

The interior of the homeless bus

Highbury College students are building the beds, which will be on the upper deck.

Joanne, from Gosport, said: ‘It is thanks to people like Colin that we’ve been able to get this project nearly completed.

‘The help people have given us is really appreciated.

‘We hope to have the bus finished by November so it is ready for us by Christmas.’

The next stage of the project is to install new flooring on the bus.

Joanne has asked anyone who can help to get in touch via the Facebook page.