Homeless pods designed to keep rough sleepers alive in the cold and safe from street violence, are denied funding

Tony Gosling tony at cultureshop.org.uk
Tue Dec 11 14:45:24 GMT 2018

Homeless pods designed to keep rough sleepers safe are denied funding

The pods were launched in October but haven't been seen since
Knapman  16:58, 5 DEC 2018
The pods on Bridge Street, Newport (Image: Stuart Johnson/Amazing Grace Spaces)

The roll out of pioneering sleeping pods for 
homeless people has been dealt a blow.

The so-called "pods", described as an emergency 
space for 
sleepers, were manufactured by charity group Amazing Grace Spaces.

The units, which offer a warm self-contained 
space with a bed, chemical toilet and light, were 
launched in Newport back in October.

Husband-and-wife team, Stuart and Caroline 
Johnson, who run the charity, showcased two pods 
on Bridge Street in 
city centre in an effort to attract interest from organisations and councils.

The two prototypes were funded out from the 
couple's own pocket - with each pod costing around £5,500 to produce.

So, where did they go?

Stuart, the charity's founder and designer of the 
pods, was in talks with Newport City Council, who 
were looking to help the charity secure funding for the project.

(Image: Amazing Grace Spaces)

However, the funding application, which went to 
the Welsh Government, was rejected.

Stuart said: “When we launched the sleeping pods, 
we had such a fantastic response from both 
housing professionals, the public and the 
homeless and we are deeply disappointed and 
perplexed as to why funding for them was turned down”.

“The sleeping pods are a relatively inexpensive 
short term emergency accommodation option for the 
homeless to keep them safe away from the dangers 
of sleeping in doorways, tents and in underpasses.”

A spokesperson for Newport City Council said: "A 
funding application to Welsh Government was 
submitted by Newport City Council in partnership 
with the Pobl Group and the Wallich.

"It focused on three themes: the provision of 
additional outreach support for rough sleepers, 
additional and intensive move-on support and the pod accommodation.

"Two parts of the bid were approved but, 
unfortunately, funding was not provided for the pods.

"The council is currently considering options as 
to how this scheme could be funded and supported from potential avenues."

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “We are 
investing more than £20 million in tackling 
homelessness and rough sleeping over the next two years.

"This includes funding for projects in Newport to 
fund more outreach workers to work proactively 
with people who are sleeping rough to support 
them into longer term, stable accommodation.

“We will continue to work with Newport City 
Council and other partners to prioritise the most 
effective appropriate projects to support people 
to move off the street and into longer term housing solutions.”
happened when we spent a night out with street pastors in Newport

What now for the pods?

Amazing Grace Spaces will be utilising the two 
sleeping pods that were showcased and have 
arranged with a local businessman to house the 
two sleeping pods at the back of his premises.

Stuart said: "We need to put some final touches 
to the sleeping pods and arrange insurance and 
put in place the support required to maintain the 
pods and we hope to get them out before Christmas.

"We will not give up and will continue to talk 
with councils across Wales and the Welsh 
Government to get more of these pods out on our 
streets so our homeless have a safe emergency 
shelter to sleep in rather than sleeping in shop doorways."

Inside the pods (Image: Amazing Grace Spaces)

Amazing Grace Spaces says its does not see this 
as a solution to homelessness but as an 
inexpensive option to keep homeless people safe 
when they need emergency shelter.

They are now looking at other options for funding 
and one of those is to start their own 
fundraising campaign, which should be set up in the next few weeks.

For more details, visit <http://amazinggracespaces.org/>the charity's website.
Email or call us for more information
Email | info at amazinggracespaces.org
Telephone | 07802 451340

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