The Buddy Bus is well on its way to completion and serving the needs of the community.
Jordan Stevenson was the idea of Port Hope businessman Jordan Stevenson who purchased a transit bus from the city of Windsor and is retrofitting it to help the homeless.
The Buddy Bus which is named after Stevenson’s dog arrived on January 19, 2023 and since then has been undergoing a change-over in preparation for hitting the road to help the homeless in less than a month.
Today’s Northumberland stopped in on Thursday, February 2, 2023 to see how renovations on the bus were taking place.
Stevenson said the, “the crews are extremely excited to be working on it and we’re making a lot of progress.”
On the outside of the bus the advertising has been stripped off in preparation for the bus to be wrapped.
On the inside, the seats have all been removed and the layout is starting to be installed.
Electrical throughout the bus along with heating, air conditioning and ventilation is being re-done.
“Virtually every aspect of the bus is being torn apart and rebuilt.”
The busy which is wheelchair friendly will have five beds at the back of the bus, a small washroom, kitchenette and a outreach space for workers will be at the front of the bus.
“Looking forward to have a lot of community partners work on this and being able to use this outreach office for a variety of purposes, be it mental health supports, addiction counselling, anything really that can be thought of.”
“It was be as friendly as possible to as many people as possible to cover as many bases as we feasibly can.”
Stevenson and his team were currently working on the bunk beds which will be painted and installed shortly.
Another goal of Stevenson’s is to have the bus looking as friendly as possible.
“We want to get away from the institutionalized look. We don’t want people coming in thinking this is just another clinic. We want them to feel more at home when they access this service.”
As word gets out about the project, Stevenson said there has been a lot of community support.
“There has been outreach from not only supportive community members but organizations.”
Stevenson said it’s worked out so well, that he already has a waiting list for the bus.
“It’s exciting because the need is there, but it’s also sad.”
The Buddy Bus is expected to be rolling out in the next few weeks to serve the communities of Cobourg and Port Hope.