Woman Turns School Buses Into Tiny Homes & Gives Them To Needy Families

This bus ride changed their lives

An aspiring woman from Oregon who has spent time in the wilderness understands what it’s like to be homeless. On one fateful day, she stumbles across a derelict bus belonging to a homeless family. This prompted her to undertake the difficult task of transforming old buses into small, self-sufficient homes for those who needed it most. This woman’s remarkable story began back in 2016 and since then she has never looked back…

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This bus ride changed their lives

Ambitious Woman

The woman in this story is named Julie and she has worked in television journalism in the past. Make no mistake about it, she has had a very successful life. With a large family and a busy career, Julie can look back on her life and take great pride in her accomplishments. However, she still has a lot to offer. Recently, she has been busy writing her book One pay slip. Part of her research is experiencing homelessness…

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Ambitious Woman

Living with the homeless

Julie wants to understand what it’s like to be homeless. When she set out on her trip in the summer of 2016, she had no idea how many people were living on the streets or in the wilderness. Also, she doesn’t realize how easy it is to be homeless. For the next two years, she lived in tents and worked with homeless people across Oregon. Then, one fateful day, she makes a life-changing discovery…

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Living with the homeless

She found a bus

During an ordinary stroll through an abandoned parking lot, Julie is not surprised to see so many homeless people going about their daily lives. It was a sight she was used to. However, something strange happened when she came across an old school bus. At first, she didn’t think too much about it. But as she approached the seemingly derelict vehicle, she heard some noises coming from it. Curious, she knocked on the bus door…

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She found a bus

A family lives in it

When Julie knocked on the bus door, the commotion from inside continued. Then, after half a minute of waiting, someone opened the door and was friendly enough to let her in. Julie was shocked to see a family living inside the bus. Even more surprising, the two parents who lived on the bus had seven children in their names. She was amazed to see the children playing, enjoying themselves in what was clearly their home. However, the last sight made her sad…

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A family lives in it

In a mess

Julie immediately noticed that the family had torn up the bus seat and put down the wooden floor. Even though there was a bathtub and enough mattresses for everyone, Julie was disgusted with the living conditions. She said: “It is in disarray. “There are no toilets, showers or kitchens.” Apparently, the father stopped renovating the place after getting sick. Heartbroken by the conditions these children have to live in, this eventually prompts Julie to devise a plan…

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In a mess

She has an idea

Not long after, Julie found many other families living in derelict school buses. It was at this point that she came up with an idea – take the old, derelict buses and convert them into livable cottages. “They want a place to live of their own, safe – and they want mobility so they can get a better job,” says Julie. Now that she has an idea, all she needs to do is figure out where to start…

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She has an idea

The first bus ride is always the hardest

It didn’t take long before Julie contacted someone with a bus they wanted to sell for cheap. Immediately, Julie seized the opportunity, paid a low price for the car and the official conversion was carried out. “Just bought our bus! She is here with her former owner and teacher Robert,” she wrote. Although buying a bus is fairly straightforward, Julie knows she has a long road ahead of her…

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The first bus ride is always the hardest

Take it down

The first step of converting the bus is to strip it down to its “bare skeleton”. With the help of some DIY experts, Julie took away the seats and emptied the bus. “Our vehicle for change has been emptied and is ready to be a little house on wheels,” she said. Julie now has a blank canvas and can give the tiny house any structure she’s happy with. After some planning, Julie and her team started building a framework…

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Take it down

Build a framework

Before long, Julie knew exactly where she wanted to put every part of the house. This includes bathrooms, bedrooms and kitchens. Her team started to come up with the framework. “Happiness’s big yellow bus has entry walls!” she speaks. Now it is a case of bringing in a carpenter to build the appropriate furniture. One thing is for sure though; Julie wouldn’t be able to do all this alone…

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Build a framework

A little help from her friends

Make no mistake about it, Julie will never be able to convert a bunch of school buses into little cottages without help. Obviously she will need more people to participate. Of course, she makes sure to have expert help by her side. However, she was also able to get help from some of the people she met during her time on the road. With their help, she can start working in the kitchen together…

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A little help from her friends

Kitchen installation

It was only a matter of time before the kitchen on the first school bus took shape. The first part she installed was the kitchen counter and soon after was an oven. There’s plenty of family cooking space on either side of the kitchen, as well as space for the dining table. Of course, no house is truly a home without a bathroom and toilet. Thankfully, Julie has the right people to make that happen…

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Kitchen installation

Perfect plumbing

The next step Julie took was to ensure that the cottage was equipped with its own bathroom and toilet. With the help of plumbers Derrick and Pierre, she was able to make this vision a reality. “This is the tool of dreams. Derrick and Pierre before Betsy The Wonder Bus,” she said. “Today they installed the toilet, finished the shower, and prepared to hook up the drain. I am amazed at true heroes like this who volunteer for the good of the community! “

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Perfect plumbing

Nice bedroom

One surprising source of help Julie received was from the children of one of the homeless families she had worked with over the past few years. Seeing that they will be the recipients of this house, they have every right to design it however they wish. So they decided to paint the bedroom wall with blue sky and white clouds. “Our first child… Ms. Betsy is almost done,” she wrote. “It is exciting to make a home for children and families.”

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Nice bedroom

Transformation: Complete

After a few months of hard work and perseverance, Julie was able to successfully convert her school bus. It has everything you would expect from a home, such as bathroom, shower, kitchen and bedroom. Her primary goal is to build a qualifying home with healthy living conditions for its residents, whether or not they were previously homeless. All she has to do now is find the right candidates for the house.

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Transformation: Complete

Register

Before long, Julie was sending out applications to homeless people who wanted to live in her bus turntable. According to the application specifications, an entire family must apply and they must have at least one child under the age of 18. “It has to be family,” Julie said. “Some babies are toddlers. Children live on the street out there. Trying to survive with no place to live, cold bread, no shower, no quiet place to read. How are you going to grow up with that? “

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Register

This family needs a home

One of the families applying for the bus home was David and Jennifer. Although he was previously a substitute teacher and is completing his master’s degree, he has missed too many rental deadlines and is forced to clean his premises with his family. “What people don’t understand, is that even if someone has a little income, they can still live on the street – even family,” says David. At the time of application, they were living in a tent…

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This family needs a home

She gave them a home

After the family applied to ride the bus home, Julie knew this was the right family for the opportunity. On Thanksgiving, David and his family move into their new home. Although they offered to give the bus a paint job of their choice, the family ended up sticking it in yellow and calling it their “Yellow Submarine”. “As a family, we used to sing, ‘We all live in the Yellow Submarine,’” David said. “And that turned out to be true.”

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She gave them a home

It changed their lives

In the end, having a legal home completely changed the way David and his family lived. “It makes the little money we have even stronger,” he said. “[The home] has reduced stress in our lives. It allows us to breathe for a moment.” David also commented on how the house opens up, even though it is only a bus on the surface. Now, David can complete his masters with a steady number. However, Julie’s work is not over yet…

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It changed their lives

One family is not enough

Although she was on the moon to help change the lives of David’s family forever, Julie knew there was much more to give home. Her initial hope was to convert another bus into a home every year. “But if I can raise more money and awareness, there’s no reason why we can’t earn more,” she said. With that in mind, it’s only a matter of time before Julie builds on her success in depth…

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One family is not enough

She created a non-profit organization

Eventually, Julie founded a nonprofit called Vehicles for Change. With a qualified engineer working with her and help from many others, Julie seems to have the basic resources to start helping other homeless families get homes. According to her, there are more than 20,000 homeless children in Oregon alone and they are desperate to find some quality shelter. It was only a matter of time before her nonprofit hit the headlines and donations started pouring in…

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She created a non-profit organization

Huge capital

In the end, Vehicle For Change’s profile grew so much that anonymous donors were willing to provide substantial funding for the project. After Julie blogged about the idea in its early stages, an unnamed donor from Michigan provided a $25,000 annual grant to the nonprofit for the next five years. “Every time we needed help, it showed up. When we needed money, someone would show up to make a donation,” she said. With so many bus turnstiles already available, Julie has big plans for the future…

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Huge capital

Big plan

Eventually, Julie hopes to convert at least five buses a year, but as far as she fears, the sky is the limit for the Change Vehicle. “The idea of ​​using, donating buses from schools and then converting them with volunteer labor – it was very appealing to me,” says Julie’s engineer. “It’s very community-driven.” To date, Julie has been interviewed in many newspapers about her nonprofit and she has changed the lives of many people.

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Big plan

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