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Last Updated: Friday, 17 March 2006, 12:47 GMT
Homeless shelter 'going Japanese'
The new sleeper pods
Artist's impression of how the new sleeper pods will look
Brighton's homeless are to get new Japanese-style accommodation through a pioneering scheme by the St Patrick's Night Shelter charity.

Celebrity Big Brother contestant Samuel Preston, donated 50,000 he earned from the show to the project.

The "crash pads" will be ready late 2007, and are being launched on St Patrick's Day.

Father Alan Sharpe said: "The sleeper pods will give the homeless control over their lives."

The pod is placed in a home environment so you come out and eat together
Father Alan Sharpe
The night shelter hoped to use 200,000 from Brighton & Hove City Council to pay for the development.

After the funding was withdrawn the trust fought back with a 23,000-signature petition and managed to secure 50,000 from the council.

Samuel Preston, lead singer of The Ordinary Boys, and who recently appeared on Celebrity Big Brother, said he gave the money to the St Patrick's Trust because he admired their work and it was local to where he lived.

The sleeper pods are normally found in places such as Tokyo and the accommodation is thought to be the first of its kind in the UK.

The trust will redevelop its building in Hove to include 20 sleeper pods with the aim of getting residents to socialise.

Father Sharpe said: "The pod is placed in a home environment so you come out and eat together with professionals to encourage you."

The charity wants to use the scheme to secure extra funding, and has already received interest from local business.

He added: "If you've got good ideas people come out of the woodwork to fund you."

The St Patrick's Trust is based in Hove and offers more than 25,000 bed spaces for the homeless each year.

Accommodation at the trust includes a 22-bed night shelter, 29-bed hostel and "move-on" accommodation for 19 people.

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