THE homeless sleeping pods hailed for providing accommodation for rough sleepers have been removed from Newport city centre.

Charity Amazing Grace Spaces unveiled two pods in Newport six months ago, after businessman Everton Smith gave permission for them to be placed on his land.

The pods were praised all over the world, and helped seven rough sleepers off the streets of Newport and into supported accommodation.

But yesterday, charity officials removed the pods from the site.

It is not entirely clear why the pods have been removed.

South Wales Argus:

(Charity workers removing the pods.)

The pods, which were the original prototypes, will now be updated internally to include the latest design finish.

There are currently no plans or agreement with Newport City Council to site more pods in Newport, according to the charity, but it added it would continue discussions with the local authority to find suitable sites.

Amazing Grace Spaces' support manager, Caroline Johnson, said: “We are seeing the same people still living rough on the street. They are disengaged from services and have no faith in the agencies they have tried to get help from.

“They live in doorways, underpasses, in tents and our town centres while they wait for housing services to either sort out a hostel, housing or even for an appointment. Some have been waiting for years.

“This is not acceptable for the dignity, health and wellbeing of homeless people. It is also not acceptable for the community to have to pass these vulnerable people daily and see them sleeping in doorways, passed out on the pavement or being disruptive in the street.”


A charity official added they were “in discussions” with other local authorities in south east Wales to pilot the pods.

South Wales Argus:

(The site after the pods were removed.)

One former pod user, who is now in supporting housing with Gwalia, said: “He said: “It is much warmer; things are going good. It’s the first help I’ve been given in a while. If it wasn’t for Amazing Grace Spaces, I’d still be on the street and in the cold.”

South Wales Argus:

(Inside the pods.)

The pods - which cost between five to six thousand pounds each - gave access to a bed, light, toilet and phone charger.

The charity is currently working with several organisations to provide more sleeping pods, including in Birmingham and Cardiff.