Sleepbus l Simon Rowe


Conversation with Simon Rowe

Simon Rowe is Founder of Sleepbus, a service providing a comfortable, safe night’s sleep to homeless Australians. One Sleepbus includes 22 secure individual sleep pods and can provide up to 8,030 safe sleeps per year. Today he is based in Melbourne with one fully operational Sleepbus and plans to increase the fleet so that he can provide over 2 million safe sleeps per year! We had a chat to Simon aboard the Sleepbus about what inspired him to leave his cushy corporate gig and his grand plans for this incredible business.

8,200 people in Australia are sleeping rough each night.
— Simon Rowe, Sleepbus

Sleepbus Founder, Simon Rowe, has an incredible business, it’s still in the early days but he’s on a mission, to ensure that people who are sleeping rough get a comfortable, safe night’s sleep.

Sleepbus converts buses into safe, temporary overnight accommodation to get people off the street. Each sleepbus provides 22 secure individual sleep pods. 

Each Sleepbus provides 22 secure individual sleep pods with a lockable door, under bus storage, pet pods for companion animals onboard, overnight security person and monitored CCTV surveillance. One sleepbus can provide up to 8,030 safe sleeps per year.

Simon explains that this is a wonderful cost-effective solution for society’s most vulnerable people, catching them early until they can get back on their feet.

Simon left the corporate world a few years ago to pursue his passion. He aims to make an actual difference to those awful homeless stats which just keep increasing year on year. The actual numbers are difficult to pin down but what we do know is that in 2016 there were 116,000 Australians sleeping rough on census night. That’s a 14% increase from 2011 to 2016. With the changes to public housing and forever increasing rents experts believe Australia’s homelessness problem is growing at a dramatic rate. Even in the glamour holiday hub of Byron Bay it’s estimated that up to 400 people are sleeping rough each night, according to Mayor Simon Richardson.

Today, Simon, has one Sleepbus in Melbourne and a vision for a further 319 sleepbuses, providing over 2 million safe sleeps per year. It’s an incredible mission to have laid out in the biz plan. We have a chat to Simon about what inspired him to leave his cushy corporate gig and his plans to increase the fleet of buses.

Mentioned in conversation...

  • The current state of homelessness in Australia, and how the demographic is changing (this might surprise you!)

  • How Sleepbus came about and the journey of bringing it to life.

  • Who’s getting onboard Sleepbus and how Simon and the team make sure it’s a safe night for everyone.

  • The HUGE potential Sleepbus holds for bringing a safe &comfortable night’s sleep to all Australians sleeping rough.

Follow Sleepbus here:

Sleepbus Website

Sleepbus Instagram

Sleepbus Facebook

Image courtesy of Gold Coast Bulletin.