WorldBed Announces Project Beds For America, Introduces Shelter Bed

Bedding industry non-profit WorldBed will debut its newly designed Shelter Bed and donate up to 2,000 of these mattresses to homeless shelters across Las Vegas as the organization launches Project Beds for America at the Las Vegas Market.

“While we will continue to answer the call of those in need around the world, Project Beds for America puts an emphasis on helping those here in the U.S. who do not have a proper bed to sleep in,” said WorldBed President Laura Castro. “Project Beds for America will streamline our efforts domestically to provide mattresses to homeless shelters and other facilities where people are impacted by poverty, disaster or conflict.”

WorldBed is working with the state of Nevada, the city of Las Vegas, local chapters of the Salvation Army and Catholic Charities and other local charities to distribute its goal of 2,000 mattresses to six shelters around Las Vegas during the summer Market. These shelters serve the estimated 44,000 homeless men, women and children in the city.

“The Las Vegas community is very thankful for Project Beds for America, and we are honored to be the launch city for this national initiative,” said Major Robert Lloyd, Clark County Coordinator for The Salvation Army. “During the hot summer months and year-round, the need for beds in our shelters is critical, and these mattresses will be a tremendous asset for those who use our services.”

In conjunction with the unveiling of Project Beds for America, WorldBed will introduce its new Shelter Bed, a modified twin-size mattress suitable for bunk beds in transitional living shelters, such as facilities that offer work-training programs. The Shelter Beds will also be used in some residential settings, such as converted hotels and apartments where homeless individuals and families are housed temporarily.

The Shelter Beds feature an easy-to-clean, water-resistant medical-grade nylon covering, a vinyl underside and an anti-bacterial foam core. The sides are sealed to resist bed bugs and reduce cross contamination. Because of the materials and design, the Shelter Bed does not require a mattress cover, which saves a significant expense for the Shelters.

“The shelters are grateful that WorldBed has created the Shelter Bed to fit their existing frames. Currently there are a dozen or more styles and sizes of mattresses in the city’s shelters which did not always fit the frames at the shelters. These old mattresses will be replaced by uniform Shelter Beds,” said Castro.

As part of Project Beds for America, WorldBed will also donate traditional World Beds, which can be placed on cots or directly on the floor and rolled up for storage, to be utilized in emergency situations such as during times of extreme weather, when the shelters have an overflow of homeless people seeking temporary lodging.

While WorldBed has expanded its mission to reach U.S. homeless shelters, it will continue to aid victims of disaster around the world and across America, such as it did in March 2012, when WorldBed shipped more than 500 World Beds to the Midwest and South after devastating storms displaced thousands of U.S. residents.

“Whether a person is a victim of disaster or homeless, every person deserves the dignity of having a place to sleep. Having a bed to sleep in can help give comfort and hope to people who feel hopeless in the midst of tragedy and seemingly desperate situations,” said Castro.

WorldBed will officially announce the launch of Project Beds for America at a reception at Market at a space donated by World Market Center, C-1096, on Tuesday, July 31, from 5 to 8 pm. WorldBed will also host an exhibit during Market at the Specialty Sleep Association showroom at C-1350 where representatives from the non-profit will be available to discuss sponsorship opportunities.

"We enthusiastically support the efforts of Project Beds for America as a wonderful opportunity for World Market Center and the participants at Market to give back to the Las Vegas community," said Dana Andrew, vice president of global marketing and communications for International Market Centers, owner of WMCLV. "The city has been a fantastic host to the Market, and we are glad to see residents of Las Vegas benefit from this worthy cause."

WorldBed, founded by industry leaders in 2005 to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina, has steadily expanded its purpose of giving mattresses to people in need in the U.S. and around the world. In 2012, WorldBed reached the milestone of 30,000 beds delivered throughout the world, across the U.S and in Japan, Haiti, Pakistan, Africa, and Chile. Soon WorldBed will also provide its first shipments into Vietnam and Lebanon.

WorldBed is funded primarily by donations from the home furnishings industry, including manufacturers, suppliers, retailers and individuals.

A growing list of local, national and international charity partners, including community groups and churches, The Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, and global non-government organizations, such as World Vision, CARE, Giving Children Hope, World Hope and Mercy Ships have helped WorldBed to advance its mission by providing resources and channels of distribution.

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About WorldBed: Created in 2005 to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina, WorldBed is a not-for-profit organization that gives emergency relief field mattresses and twin-sized transitional mattresses to homeless shelters across the United States, medical facilities in Africa, and disaster-hit areas across the globe. WorldBed is made possible through the generous donations of its sponsors and donors and the efforts of its distribution partners World Vision, Giving Children Hope, CARE, World Hope other non-government organizations around the world. WorldBed’s continuing goal is to distribute 200,000 mattresses worldwide, to places and people in need.