A quick shower isn’t so simple when you are homeless. The city of San Antonio is unveiling its new three-stall, disability-accessible, mobile showering unit. This will make it easier for the homeless to bathe on a daily basis.
Adolph Garza is excited to use the new shower. He says that he is currently staying underneath a bridge, and it isn’t easy to take a shower.
Garza claims he’s been wearing the same clothing for two or three weeks. He said he’s going to shower three or four days a week if he can. “I will be probably the first one in line to get it,” he says.
According to Marjorie White, the homeless coordinator of the city’s human services agency, the latest unit will be available from 1:00-4:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. This will supplement the shower that her department has been using on a loan basis as part of the Christian Assistance Ministries pilot program since last July.
“We’ve served over 900 clients, 6,000 showers since July,” White says of that eight-stall unit, noting the high demand. Her target for the city’s latest three-stall unit is around 25-30 showers a day.
With other programs already open to the homeless, she aims to “help them move from being unsheltered to a level of stability.”
That’s exactly what Roberto Trevino, the city councilor, wants to see happen. He was instrumental in bringing about $26,000 in council funding to pay for the new $58,000 facility.
He says that the greatest hope is that this will offer a path to resources for those who desperately need it.
The device is now in the parking lot next to the San Fernando Gym at W. Travis St. The unit would ultimately be relocated to other sites across the city where both outreach services and camps are open.
The Marriott has supplied them with towels, Trevino says. There are also food and bathroom services available to complement the showers, which would be tracked.
White says, “All of us when we get out of a shower, we feel refreshed.” It has been established that this is an important support for their customers.
“Many of the homeless people need to shower before they head to work. The new machine is going to be a big help to them,” she adds.
Trevino claims that this is precisely the kind of message that they can share through this pandemic. The shower is so essential for well-being and critical for everyone’s health as well.
He says that they expect to get many more units, maybe one for each district in the future. If the showers are commonly used, the service may be expanded.