This Parking Lot Is Turned Into A Safe Haven For The Homeless At Night

Homelessness is never a choice but often due to just one, or a series of unfortunate events such as debt, illness, loss of a job, inability to find work because of bad health, inadequate or no healthcare and no money to pay rent or mortgage.

With no place to go, the streets or bush become their only alternative where they become one of thousands, sleeping when and where they can, searching for food in the trash and seemingly invisible to the passing crowds.

Unfortunately, for those who can't get out of this situation quickly, it only gets worse from there on.

Norman McGillivray, founder of non-profit Beddown, had a light-bulb moment walking through an empty parking lot one night and saw the perfect space for a 'pop-up' shelter.

With loads of planning, willing partners and collaborators, Beddown was ready to give the idea a go.

More info: beddown.org.au | Instagram | Facebook

The organization asked one of the largest car park operators, Secure Parking, and they agreed to launch a two-week trial in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Beddown's aim is to use places only used during daytime and standing empty at night and turning them into safe and secure shelters for the homeless overnight.

Sleep deprivation is one condition many homeless people suffer from since they are constantly at risk of having the little they have being stolen.

Depression, diabetes, hypertension, memory loss are just a few of the conditions as a result of living rough. During the trial, Beddown provided additional services to the guests, including doctors, nurses, dentists, and hairdressers.

They also helped provide social services, gave them new clothing, and a place to clean themselves.

One Beddown Instagram post said:

"It was great to start bringing the Beddown vision to life last night with a group of our awesome volunteers for the Dry Run.

Thank you to our awesome group of volunteers who came in late on a Saturday night to help us trial and set-up some beds.

Although as expected we had a few challenges to overcome, it was awesome to start bringing Beddown to life.

Beddown will provide an immediate response for those who sleep rough to access safe, secure shelter and access to a comfy bed and a great night's sleep.

We will work with our other collaborative partners to provide long term solutions to transition our guests into accommodation, education and employment opportunities and ultimately put ourselves out of business (this is the vision).

A few of many comments from those who were part of the trial had this to say of their experience:

"After spending the week here, having a good sleep at night and a routine, it reminded me of life and I booked myself into Rehab for 6 months."

"Being able to sleep all night and away from drugs, I'm clearer in the day and have not used drugs for 8 days."

"It's the first time I have had a dream in years."

"I don't have to watch my back here."

This article was originally published on EducatedInspireChange.org

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You Only Have So Many Tomorrows

10 Common Regrets People Have At The End Of Their Life

When you are young, you always think you have plenty of time to do what you want to do.

We think we have endless amounts of time to mark things off your list of things to do; to make amends with people you had arguments with; to go back to school, get that dream job and live the life you've dreamed.

But, time is fleeting, as they say, and before you know it, you're at the end of your life. I'm not saying this to make you depressed or anxious about growing old.

I'm saying this so that you WAKE UP and avoid these 10 most common regrets that people have at the end of their lives.

1. I wish I'd cared less about what other people think

People tend to care way too much about what other people think about them. The fact is, most of the time, those people you're concerned about aren't even thinking about you at all.

And, even if they are, why should it matter to you what they think? Are you hurting yourself or someone else by what you're doing? Are you committing any crimes? Are you happy with your life?

It's only when you realize how little other people are really thinking about you that you realize how much time and energy you wasted worrying about this.

2. I wish I had stood up for myself more.

Sometimes, it's too easy to think that if you go all out to please everyone you'll be liked more or your partner won't run off with anyone else.

We're taught to be nice and to not hurt other people's feelings but not at the expense of our own happiness.

3. I wish I had followed my passions

It's so easy to be seduced by a stable salary, a solid routine and a comfortable life, but at what expense?

Don't become a doctor/lawyer/nurse/therapist just because it's what your family or friends expect of you.

Doing something you love to do is deeply, emotionally satisfying. Remember, if you love your work, you'll never work a day in your life!

4. I wish our last conversation hadn't been an argument.

Life is short, and you never really know when the last time you speak to someone you love will be. The last thing you ever say to someone will be what you remember the most after they're gone.

Always remember this and never end a conversation with a loved one with a harsh word, argument, or criticism.

5. I wish I had lived more in the moment.

Watching children grow up makes you realize how short-lived and precious time really is. As we age, many of us live less and less in the present.

We're always busy working, doing chores, talking on the phone, texting, surfing the internet or playing video games.

Put down all of the devices; leave work and chores to tomorrow; and enjoy this moment in time to its fullest.

6. I wish I had worked less

Speaking of work, always remember that your children will only be young once. YOU will only be young once.

Wake up and realize that financial success or career accomplishment doesn't necessarily equal a happy, fulfilled life.

7. I wish I had trusted my instincts

Making your own decisions and feeling confident in the decisions you make gives us fulfillment and joy from life. Going against your gut only breeds resentment and bitterness and makes you unhappy.

8. I wish I hadn't worried so much

Problems are bound to come up during your life. It happens to us all. But, spending your time worrying and fretting won't help matters.

Rather than worrying about it, do what you can to solve the problem. If it's not possible to solve it, then there is no point in worrying. It won't help and can lead to illness, and will definitely lead to unhappiness.

9. I wish I'd taken better care of myself

Having health problems always make you wonder that if you'd eaten healthier, exercised more, worked less and been less stressed, would you be in the poor health you are today?

I don't have to tell you that research has shown that eating healthy, exercising more, and staying away from bad habits like smoking and drinking too much will keep you healthier.

But, I just did, anyway. If you haven't been born with a debilitating health condition, YOU hold the key to staying healthy, longer.

10. I wish I'd appreciated (fill in the blank) more

The consequences of taking people for granted are always difficult to deal with later in life.

The saying "You don't know what you have until it's gone" is one of the most truthful statements ever made.

Whether it's your spouse, friend, family member, child, your health or simply your youth, appreciate every single one no matter how trivial it may be.

When singer Warren Zevon, was asked after his diagnosis of terminal cancer at age 55 what advice he could give to people, his simple answer was, "Enjoy every sandwich."

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Stop Explaining Yourself And Telling People Everything

You Don't Owe Anyone Explanations For These 6 Things

Why is it that people feel as though they have to explain themselves? Is it the way we're brought up? Is it society's expectations?

Why can't we just live our lives without having to explain why we do what we do? I mean, whose business is it what we do and why? Guess what?

If you're not hurting anyone or doing anything illegal, it's absolutely nobody else's business! And, you most certainly don't owe anyone an explanation for these 6 things:

1. Your living situation

The way you live your life in your own home is nobody's business but yours. It's nobody else's business if you live alone, with roommates, with a partner or with your ex.

If you're happy with it, do it.

2. Your physical appearance

We all go through physical changes during the course of our lives. We gain weight, lose weight, dye our hair or grow a beard.

Any change in the way you choose to look doesn't require an explanation. Your grandma will just have to get over the fact you have purple hair.

3. Your religious and/or political views

I can't tell you how many times I have read really nasty responses to a political or religious post on Facebook. Everyone has their own personal views of religion and politics.

And, those views should be respected and no explanation should be necessary.

4. Not having children

You should never have to explain why you don't have children to anyone. Maybe you have a medical condition or maybe having children just isn't right for you.

Whatever the reason, it's nobody else's business.

5. Being single

The same goes for being single. Nobody should question you or make you feel "less than" because you don't have a partner. It's your choice. You don't have to explain it.

6. Your life priorities

You want to put off going to college for a year in order to backpack through Peru. You want to open your own restaurant rather than work in someone else's.

Your career is more important to you right now than getting married and having children.

Whatever the priorities are in your life, they are YOURS. And, you don't have to live your life to impress anyone else or give explanation for it.

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The People In Your Life

4 Simple Ways Mentally Strong People Deal With Stress

Stress is something that everyone feels, regardless of who you are. It is a natural part of being human.

The unfortunate part is that if you let your stress get out of hand and let it dominate your life, you're likely to suffer from a slew of negative health effects, like high blood pressure, and more serious conditions like depression, anxiety disorder, and substance abuse.

Don't let your stress lead you down a destructive path. Use these four tips from the mentally strong to overcome your stress:

Acknowledge that stressful things will always happen

Even the best laid plans of mice and men often go askew, as Robert Burns would say. Meaning, you can plan all you want, but at the end of the day, sometimes life throws you a curveball the likes of which you've never seen.

Know that you can handle anything that comes your way; see stressful situations as opportunities to overcome adversity.

Positive Affirmation

How your inner dialogue speaks during times of duress can be your bane or your savior.

Focus on positive self-affirmations that remind you just how capable you are of overcoming stressful circumstances.

Use phrases like "I've been through worse before, I can handle this just like I did last time," to fill your mind with positivity.

Time Management

Stress is manifested purely in our minds, and much of this stress comes from the perception that we do not have enough time to finish what we need to finish.

Effective time management can greatly reduce stress levels. Plan ahead to accommodate for lost time to ensure you're never caught in a stressful situation.

Find joy during troubling times

Laughter is infectious and when it dominates the mind, we're capable of a great number of feats.

For example, running ten miles with my friend is much easier than running it by myself, simply because we laugh and chat the whole time.

The same goes for when you mess up or overreact. If you can laugh it off, you're one step closer to shifting from a negative mindset to a positive one.

How do you handle stress? Let us know in the comments below! If you found this information helpful, please remember to SHARE the article with your family and friends on Facebook.


If You Have The Power To Make Someone Happy, Do It

6 Ways To Lift Your Spirits When You're Feeling Low

At times, we all feel the pressure of life's stresses and worries on our shoulders. Sometimes it all gets to be overwhelming, and we struggle to find the joy in our busy existence.

What most people don't realize is that happiness is everywhere around you, but when you aren't practicing regular healthy self care, you are blinded to it.

When you get to the point of being utterly physically and emotionally drained and you're neglecting all of your own needs, it's impossible to appreciate those small joys that might bring some light into your life otherwise.

Here are 6 simple ways to boost your happiness and keep yourself open to receiving joy.

1. Get some sleep.

It might seem like a simple answer, but the large majority of working people out there are suffering from a severe lack of sleep.

Your body goes through multiple cycles or stages of sleep throughout the night, it needs to complete enough of those cycles and reach all of the proper stages in order to re-energize and rebuild itself.

When you miss hours or nights of sleep, that lost time is added to a life long sleep debt that will keep growing so long as you never get caught up on your rest.

You can work on this by listening to your mind and body, sleep when you're tired, don't fight your exhaustion when it arises.

Even a quick power nap in the afternoon of between 10 and 30 minutes can jump your batteries and raise your alertness.

Watch out though, sleeping too much more than that during the day can lead to that slow, groggy feeling which is sometimes referred to as "sleep inertia".

2. Spend some quality time in nature.

Not only does a good nature walk give you a chance to enjoy the Earth and all of it's simple wonders, it can be grounding and provides a peaceful ambiance perfect for self reflection and meditation.

Recent studies even suggest that all of the colors of living plants we find in nature, particularly various green hues, can help to lighten your mood and lessen your anxiety.

Soaking up the sun is also good for vitamin deficiencies that can otherwise affect your mood negatively.

3. Share a good laugh.

It may not always be easy to get a hearty, genuine laugh going out of nowhere, but we all have those friends or films, music or shows that we just can't help but find hilarious.

The physical act of laughing actually stimulates a part of the brain that is linked directly to happiness and your pleasure centers.

A little laughter makes everybody feel better, and it seems to be infectious once you get going.

4. Stand in the sea breeze.

Salt water is an intriguing solution. It is currently being researched what the various health benefits of the ocean are for the body, but the mental and emotional benefits are already well known.

Listening to the cyclical patterned noises that the waves make crashing on the shore can have a calming or soothing effect.

The rhythmic audio stimulation can be almost trance-like and at the very least tends to give the sea side visitor an overall feeling of peace and contentedness.

5. Practice deep, mindful breathing.

"If I had to limit my advice on healthier living to just one tip, it would be simply to learn how to breathe correctly."
—Andrew Weil

Sometimes the best answers are the most basic.

Breathing isn't something we even think about most of the time, simply an involuntary physical action that happens on a constant basis, but if you can take the time and make an effort to pause occasionally and take a few deep breaths, you'd be shocked at how much it can change your mindset.

Practicing purposeful breathing, filling your lungs as full as you can and slowly releasing that air helps to oxygenate your brain and body and clear your mind of panic.

6. Take a shower.

Some people prefer hot steamy showers and others like a cool rinse after a hard day, but no matter what your temperature, hydrotherapy is a powerful and wonderful tool for calming and evening out your mood.

Cold showers can refresh you and even assist in lowering blood pressure, whereas a hot shower will alleviate aches, pains and tensions.

Your needs may vary depending on what type of week or day you've had, but a comfortable shower, perhaps with some aromatic soap (aroma therapy can be very helpful in mood boosting) will do you wonders.

It's easy to forget these small things, these little bits of self care, when we are caught up in the chaos of a busy life, but all it takes is a few minutes out of the day and it could be just the infusion of calm and joy you need.

If you can manage to make a habit of a few of these suggestions, you may find that your daily life is wholly changed and you're smiling more than ever.

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