Campaigners are not backing down after a plan to turn buses into night shelters for homeless people was rejected.
Homes4All, a Witney-based company, was hoping double decker buses would be turned into emergency accommodation for rough sleepers under its JumpStart project.
But a bid for £20,000 funding for the scheme was not supported by councillors at a meeting last week.
Now, the group says it will push ahead with raising funds for the project itself, warning that homeless people in Oxfordshire may lose their lives this winter without shelter.
Deborah Robson-Grey of Homes4All, said: “I’m heartbroken that the JumpStart bus was rejected by Oxford City Council with no consideration or debate with the coldest winter in a decade due, lives could well be lost as a result.”
The group hoped there would be enough funding to purchase a bus by the end of the year, in time to offer support during the winter for homeless people across the county.
Green councillor Craig Simmons who proposed the motion, said: “It is extremely disappointing that Labour voted [the plan] down without any real justification for doing so.”
The vehicle would serve as a bridge between sleeping on the streets and more permanent solutions.
Last week, a citywide event was hosted at Oxford Town Hall with the aim of coming up with a joined-up approach to tackling rough sleeping.
The project, which will create a Charter for Homelessness in Oxford by April 2018, has received £25,000 from the city council.
Speaking about his decision to oppose the JumpStart motion, city councillor Mike Rowley said: “It would not have been appropriate, 12 hours before [the citywide symposyium], to have backed the motion.
“Although I appreciate the good intentions of the group, I couldn’t recommend diverting funding to it.
“At the beginning of November I invited Homes4All to the City Conversation, and at that time I made clear to them that unfortunately we don’t have public funding available for their project though we are still willing to work with them.
“We’ll continue to work with all our other partners to explore every option that could help homeless people.”
Oxford recently lost one of its homeless shelters – Lucy Faithfull House – after funding cuts, while plans for a new centre in Rymers Lane, Cowley, are currently being worked on.
To make a donation visit crowdfunder.co.uk/jumpstart-bus.