Life
Charity cleverly helps the homeless by turning parking garages into pop-up shelters
Instead of parking garages going unused at night, they're transformed into shelters for the homeless.
D.G. Sciortino
05.23.22

While the poorest half of the global population owns just 2% of global wealth, the richest 10% own 76% of it. American CEO compensation has grown 940% since 1978, as compensation for the typical worker has only risen about 12% during this time.

Billionaires have acquired so much wealth they can play around in space! Meanwhile, here on Earth, many are just one missed paycheck or one injury or illness away from homelessness. About 40% of Americans are one paycheck away from living in poverty.

Unsplash - lucas Favre
Source:
Unsplash - lucas Favre

But what if corporations and non-profits joined forces to solve some of the problems that plague us?

What if instead of being perceived as “villains” our CEOs could be our heroes?

That’s what a charity called Beddown and Secure Parking are doing to help eradicate homelessness. Norm McGillivary started Beddown after he was out of a job and looking for one in the non-profit sector.

YouTube - Sky News Australia
Source:
YouTube - Sky News Australia

Since he had been personally affected by homelessness, he wanted to start his own charity in that area.

McGillivray was only 2-years-old when his father had a stroke that left him partially paralyzed and with impaired speech.

The father that owned a shopfitting business and was a carpenter was no longer able to work.

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A post shared by beddown (@beddowntonight)

“He suffered a stroke in his early 30s,” McGillivray said according to NRMA. “My mum was a bit younger than my father, and she was bringing up a small child, which was me. My dad was heavily disabled and that put a lot of stress and strain on the relationship. They separated, got divorced, and my dad found himself sleeping rough on the streets of London.”

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A post shared by beddown (@beddowntonight)

His father ended up having a heart attack and passing away while homeless at the age of 42.

Being just 11-years-old, McGillivray felt powerless and was heartbroken.

According to McGillivray, hundreds of people die from suicide, disease, and pneumonia because of homelessness.

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A post shared by beddown (@beddowntonight)

This was “unacceptable” to him. So he wanted to start an organization to help the 8,200 people in Australia who sleep on the streets every night, while not duplicating existing services for the indigent.

McGillivray got the idea for Beddown while walking past an empty car park one day.

The clean car parks that were vacant at night could be used as pop-up homeless shelters. So, he ran a pilot and raised money for inflatable mattresses and bedding.

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A post shared by beddown (@beddowntonight)

“A big part of the model is that we collaborate with other service providers,” McGillivray says. “We’ll bring in doctors, dentists, social workers, counsellors, new clothing, hairdressers, food and beverages, and a whole raft of other services to restore dignity, respect, self-esteem and confidence back to our guests, and also then try to link them into longer-term solutions such as education, training, employment, accommodation or rehabilitation.”

On the Beddown website, it explains:

“The aim of Beddown is to take spaces that are commonly used and busy during the day but at night are left vacant or empty. Beddown then activates and repurposes the space at night into pop-up accommodation to ensure the homeless, those who are sleeping rough are then able to come and get into a bed at night.”

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McGillivray was able to convince Secure Parking CEO Peter Anson, who owns about 600 garages across Australia and New Zealand, to allow him to use his parking garages.

“Big companies get approached by lots of not-for-profits,” Anson told 9News.com.au. “But this really resonated with me. I’ve been privileged enough to travel overseas and you see [homelessness] in all major capital cities and it’s growing. It’s easy to bat it off as too complex, but I think corporate Australia has a responsibility to do something to assist and give back.”

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A post shared by beddown (@beddowntonight)

Beddown was started back in 2019 and is working to expand. They hope to roll out their services across the country.

They also seek to expand their services to help people with education, training, employment, rehabilitation, and affordable housing.

Their ultimate goal is to “expedite the end of Beddown” and make their services no longer needed. You can donate to the organization and learn more about it at beddown.org.au.

YouTube - Sky News Australia
Source:
YouTube - Sky News Australia

You can hear more about this incredible organization in the video below!

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

By D.G. Sciortino
hi@sbly.com
Dina is a contributing writer in Shareably. She's based in Connecticut and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.
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