This is the converted double-decker bus that will soon arrive on Newport’s streets to provide a temporary place for the homeless to sleep.

The bus has bed space for 12 people, two showers, two toilets, a kitchen, and a small break area.

It was built by volunteers with the group Helping Open People’s Eyes (HOPE) using money collected over a year of tireless fundraising.

The project is now in its final stages and volunteers are confident that in a few weeks’ time it will be on the road as a mobile shelter for street sleepers.

There is space for 12 people to sleep in this converted double-decker bus. (Ian Smith)

While visiting a similar project in Bristol last year, bus driver Ian Smith and his wife Tammy from Cefn Forest, Blackwood, had the idea of the night shelter.

“I first saw Jasper Thompson and his Bristol Home for the Night campaign. He had a bus there, which was converted. I saw his project and I thought what a wonderful thing so I thought we should start fundraising for it.”

The bus is equipped with a kitchen. (Ian Smith)

Ian began raising money for his project in October 2018. His organization is not a registered charity, so the majority of the funds were raised through raffles and donations.

There are two shower and toilet cubicles. (Ian Smith)

Ian purchased a working double-decker bus which was once used for around 5,000 pounds ($6, 548) and set to work converting it for the group’s purposes.

Ian said the bus still needs some repairs before it’s ready to use, but he’s hoping it’s going to be finished in the next few weeks.

“We want to get it out before Christmas but it is just whether we can get through these repairs,” he said.

Tammy and Ian Smith (left) Blackwood Mayor Gerwyn James (Ian Smith)

Ian said that, while in use, at least two of the nine volunteers in the team would be on duty with the bus.

He said the group plans to use the bus at first for a couple of nights a week and may look forward to expanding in the future.

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