Women who created Portsmouth homeless bus left saddened at its '˜disgusting state'

THE women behind the transformation of a double-decker bus into a Portsmouth homeless shelter have spoken of their sadness after it was left in a '˜disgusting' state.

Saturday, 18th August 2018, 3:27 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th September 2018, 3:20 am
Joanne Vines and Sammy Ellen, founders of the homeless bus project in Portsmouth, were left saddened after the bus was left in a 'disgusting state'. Pictures: Joanne and Sammy

Joanne Vines and Sammy Barcroft spent months refurbishing the vehicle, donated to them by Stagecoach, and handed it over to the Robert Dolling Project.

Since November, the bus has been parked outside St Agatha's Church in Portsmouth.

Read More

Read More
Double-decker bus for the homeless unveiled in Portsmouth

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Joanne Vines and Sammy Ellen, founders of the homeless bus project in Portsmouth, were left saddened after the bus was left in a 'disgusting state'. Pictures: Joanne and Sammy

But according to a Facebook post by Joanne and Sammy, the bus was this week handed back to Stagecoach with litter inside, the curtains ripped down, fire alarms broken and seat padding missing.

Ten mattresses are also missing, no bedding is available and the wash room door has been ripped off. The microwave, furnishings and kettle are also gone.

On the post, which has been shared hundreds of times, Joanne and Sammy wrote: '˜Today the bus has been delivered back to Stagecoach filthy, vandalised and in a very very poor state.

The bus now

'˜Not even a clean-up attempt by its owners - the Robert Dolling Project.

'˜Stagecoach are repairing the bus for free! But will not go onboard until it is cleaned. A big thanks to them for their continued support.

'˜We are saddened by this. We managed to convert the bus into its amazing form (seen in Nov 17) in eight months without having any meetings or steering groups.'

The idea for the bus came after Portsmouth saw a rise in rough sleepers.

The bus now

Joanne and Sammy called for the community to help turn the bus into a place for 12 people to spend the night with beds, shower, toilet and sink facilities.

Gosport Men's Shed, Highbury College, dozens of businesses from the area and The News supported the bus with donations and giving services for free.

The Facebook post added: '˜We are disgusted in the state the bus has been delivered back to Stagecoach and it is heartbreaking to see it after all the time, money and effort from the whole community that has gone in to it.

'˜There are numerous items missing from the bus, and the Robert Dolling Project haven't even attempted to tidy or clean what little items are left in there, just handed back to Stagecoach in this state.

The bus now

'˜We are hoping that there will be new owners of the bus soon and we will keep you updated, as we know the Robert Dolling Project have failed to do so.'