what we do + how we do it
we aren’t in the business of solving every issue faced by our homeless neighbors. but we can provide them a basic need that’s currently lacking. we are strong believers that being clean can be a catalyst for change. our neighbors deserve regular opportunities to shower and take care of any other personal needs they have with dignity and respect and in a safe, private setting. think about how good you feel after a shower. we bet you feel recharged, refreshed, confident and ready to tackle the day. regardless of circumstance, every person deserves to experience that.
to do this, we will literally set up shop on the streets. our customized shower trailer will be 22 feet long and is complete with 3 stalls, one of which is handicap accessible and due to its size, can serve families well. each stall has its own sink, mirror, toilet, pull-down shelf and shower. the trailer is equipped with some pretty amazing accessories to honor to our neighbors in small, yet simple ways. the walls will be painted a light gray to give the space more of a relaxed feel. there will be heated walls and air conditioning so our neighbors are comfortable no matter the season. and we will even pipe music through speakers in each stall.
neighbors will be given 20 minutes to shower and shave; to take care of any private business. we will provide them with any supplies they may need. all items with the exception of towels, washcloths, hair dryers and razors are theirs to keep. towels and washcloths will be collected to be washed and used again, and razors will be collected and discarded after each use by our staff.
as neighbors wait their turn, we will have the opportunity to form a relationship; to establish trust. the appeal of a hot shower provides a unique yet basic avenue for dialogue especially among those who may not actively seek out help on their own. it’s all about meeting our neighbors where they are to get them to where they need to be. we act as another touchpoint, ultimately connecting them with agencies that can get them the help they need. think of us as a unique street outreach team.
to that end, we will partner with organizations working to help get our homeless neighbors into permanent, supportive housing. we aren’t providing this service as a cushion to make street-living “easy” – there’s nothing easy about it, in fact. we are providing this service because maintaining the dignity of all of our brothers and sisters matters. our neighbors deserve to know what it means to be and feel clean while in transition between housing. we believe this basic necessity is a gift. making healthy changes for the better can often start with confidence – which is one of the many benefits of regular bathing.
once we purchase the trailer, we’d love to come to your business and provide tours. click here to request a tour. please note that, once we’re out on the streets, tours will only be given outside of our street service hours. our street service times will remain consistent, as that helps build trust. additionally, we will not provide tours during service hours; we never want our neighbors to feel as though they’re on display. let us know some days and times you had in mind – we have a few hours each day that we aren’t out on the streets, so we’d love to swing by!
target date of service commencement: february 1, 2019 (we’re pushing for much earlier, of course!)
current status: planning, fundraising and partnership establishment
contact: laureen jenkins at firstname.lastname@example.org