BILLINGS - A volunteer group is recycling plastic and helping homeless people at the same time.

Sleeping Mats with a Purpose is a volunteer program that creates mats for people to sleep on who would otherwise be sleeping on the ground.

The mats are made from "plarn." Karen Lahey, who volunteers with Sleeping Mats with a Purpose, says that plarn is yarn spun from plastic bags. The plarn is crocheted into mats that homeless people can sleep on.

It takes about 700 plastic bags and 40-50 hours to make one 3 x 6 foot sleeping mat.

plastic bag sleeping mat

Lahey says, "You hope you're doing some good for the people out there. And giving them some relief, or some comfort, I guess, at night so they're not just on the ground."

If you want to get involved in making sleeping mats, Lahey says volunteers meet monthly. For meeting times, check out the "Sleeping Mats with a Purpose" Facebook page and look under the events tab.

Lahey says they don't need more plastic bags right now, but she does need more people to help crochet the plarn into sleeping mats.

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