Artist's 'most important ever work' helps Bristol's homelessness crisis

  • Watch Richard Payne's report

An artist has raised more than £15,000 to buy a former shipping container and help house homeless people in Bristol.

Andy Price created a painting after he found a note written on a sodden piece of paper when making his daily lockdown walk around Bristol's Harbourside.

The proceeds from the sale of prints of his artwork, along with help from View Art Gallery, have now given one person somewhere she can finally call home.

Andy Price raised £15,000 to pay for and furnish the unit Credit: ITV News

The 43x10 foot shipping container complete with bedroom, shower, kitchen and lounge with TV and aircon, is one of a complex of 22 in a corner of Bristol providing sanctuary from the streets.

Andy told ITV News West Country: "It's by far the most important work I've ever done.

"It wasn't until I'd completed the note that I thought about raising money for the homeless.

"It was something that came as a result of it. I wanted to turn the artwork into something positive as opposed to just selling it.

"I can't believe it, to be honest. Although I knew if was going to come true when we raised the money for this, it's a privilege to actually meet the person who is now living in this accommodation."

The artwork Andy Price created

From small beginnings Help Bristol's Homeless charity has grown to provide support not only for residents but washing and cooking facilities for those on the streets.

It is a model that is spreading across the UK and as far as New Jersey in the United States.

Bristol music legends Massive Attack are among those who sponsor the units which can be placed on top of each other to save space.

Help Bristol's Homeless Chief Executive Jasper Thompson hailed Andy's original idea.

He said demand is outstripping supply with the homeless issue becoming worse.

He said: "Job losses and mental health issues are bringing more people onto the streets and more people into us.

"You'll make a dent in it for all those people who want to be helped but ending homelessness?

"No, it's not going to happen. I'd love to say we'll get everybody off the streets but those people who are suffering badly and don't want to go indoors, are happy to live in the woods, (there'll) always be a situation of homelessness."