When I started the Bed Inn Bus campaign with my friend Les Barnes and others, I had no idea of the library of rules and regulations which surround being a Good Samaritan. In addition to applying for Authority to Fundraise from Fair Trading, it is expected that a group will also apply to be an incorporated association with a constitution which one is advised to pay a lawyer to prepare if the standard one is not appropriate. That means there are two sets of regulations and requirements to follow. Then if you get an ABN there's a third set.
Fancy having to help make a lawyer richer before you can help the poor!
The Bed Inn Bus campaign for a Sleep Bus would provide safe overnight temporary shelter for homeless people.
Recently the 'home' of a homeless man at the entrance to Centennial Park was destroyed by fire. If we had a Sleep Bus in Taree he could have slept in it that night. Samaritans and Compass Housing who have to try to help people in this sort of disaster support the Sleep Bus idea, and the campaign has raised over $7500.
Many people have made donations, but no large donor has stepped forward. Amongst the comments the donors have made are:
"A good, safe and secure initiative for the homeless."
"Everyone should have a safe place to sleep."
"No-one should have to sleep rough, especially in winter. Everyone needs to feel safe at night, in all weather."
"Very much needed in our area."
"It is a sorry indictment that fundraising to provide a bed at night should even be needed in a country this rich.'"
Unfortunately, the 'rich' bit of the country belongs to the top 10 per cent, and most of that to the top one per cent.
We need helpers as well as donors. All anyone needs do to donate is search Bed Inn Bus on the internet, and go straight to the donating page.
Homelessness is the most extreme form of poverty, it seems to me. Perhaps some wealthy people could step forward. Certainly, the members of my group are doing whatever they can with whatever they have.