A tour bus that was previously used by English rock band Status Quo has found a new life—providing temporary accommodation for members of the LGBT+ community who are homeless.
The Outside Project is run by a group of LGBT+ colleagues, friends and activists who work in the homeless sector and wanted to provide a safe crisis shelter for Londoners.
Carla Ecola travelled with a group of volunteers to purchase the bus in Hull from an events company, the Barking and Dagenham Post reports.
“The bus is really nice - we’re so excited about this project,” said volunteer Carla Ecola. “We’re proud to be located here in east London,” she added.
The bus has 12 beds as well as kitchen and bathroom facilities and includes simple meals, warm clothing and a laundry service.
The Outside Project first launched a fundraising page during London Pride and has now begun an initial two-month pilot for the project.
The shelter is for “those within the LGBTIQ+ community who feel endangered, who are homeless, ‘hidden’ homeless and feel that they are on the outside of services due to historical & present prejudice in society & in their homes,” according to the project’s website.
The project is designed to empower the community, provide a safe space for LGBT+ guests and advocate for LGBT+ rights.
According to a 2015 report released by the Albert Kennedy Trust, young people in the UK who identify as LGBT are “grossly over-represented within youth homeless populations”.
The Outside Project is hoping to eventually operate year-round and has started fundraising for a Christmas appeal—a time when some crisis shelters shut down.
“This is definitely something the community needs all year round,” said Ecola.