Being homeless deprives people of basic necessities. Charities that give those in need care packages that include things like soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothbrushes, and toothpaste, do so in good faith. As appreciated as this is, it often goes to waste as folks who live on the streets do not have access to a basic shower.
Without being clean and presentable, getting a job becomes more than just a challenge for the men and women trying to get off the streets. It’s a catch-22 the homeless face everyday. Another factor affecting people living in the streets without access to a shower is the high risk of getting sick and developing infections.
Jake Austin is a 31-year-old pastor in St. Louis, Missouri felt more needed to be done to help the most vulnerable members of society. He initiated a program called Shower to the People.
Jake Austin bought this truck from Craiglist for $5,000.
He raised money through a GoFundMe campaign to renovate the truck. Austin installed two shower stalls, sinks, and a changing area.
The pastor appreciates strangers donating toiletries to the homeless but feels that was not enough.
“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,” explains Austin.
The truck is mobile and travels all over St. Louis offering its services to those in need.
The truck connects to fire hydrants for the water use and an external generator heats the water. This provides up to 60 showers per day for people.
Austin and his congregation also started a program called Raise the Bar.
People who use to live on the streets are given employment by making soaps. The soaps are sold with the profits going to the Shower to the People program. They are also distributed free of charge to the homeless.
The goal of Shower to the People is to have more trucks in St. Louis as well as all over the U.S.
The simple act of taking a shower is more than just about being clean. “Good hygiene promotes health, fosters hope, and restores dignity to those who may have lost it,” says Austin.
Watch the happy testimonials people gave after a hot shower.
Shower to the People,