Earlier this year in St. Louis, MO, Jake Austin had an idea to create a mobile shower system for the homeless to use. He purchased an old truck for $5,000 and converted it; now, it's a reality.
The truck hooks up, via hose, to a fire hydrant and heats the water with an external source.
“People can get food and clothes, but if they haven’t had a shower in three months, they can’t get a job even flipping burgers,” said Austin.
“I decided I’m going to do one thing really well, and that’s hygiene."
It is a luxury, often taken for granted by those with access to running water and a shower. To have clean water means you have the ability to clean yourself; that's about it.
“If we can get people regularly clean, we can give them some hope,” Austin said. “Get some hope in their bones, they can take the next steps. They can keep climbing.”
The city’s social services director, Eddie Roth, agrees. “It doesn’t take much imagination to understand how the absence of bathing facilities would be profoundly demoralizing, or how rejuvenating and humanizing a gift a hot shower would be if we didn’t take it for granted." Giving them this opportunity is lifting spirits and the potential for people to get back on their feet.