Mobile Shower
July 14, 2016

St. Louis Man Brings Shaving and Showering to the Homeless

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Jake Austin out of St. Louis, Missouri, is doing something incredible for homeless people in his community. He’s giving them an opportunity to shower and shave in a safe environment.

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This is just the latest contribution, and probably the biggest that Jake has made to the homeless community in his area. Jake has been volunteering for years to help different organizations in the area pass out food and clothing to people in need for years.

One day he was handing out hygiene items like soaps and shampoos, and he started thinking about where would homeless people use hygiene items? After all, most live on the street with no shelter of any kind, not even a car. Possibly, they could join a low-cost health club to shower, but this was probably not the case for most people. This thought put Jake into action and led him to come up with a way to give some dignity to the homeless in his community.

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Austin turned to Craigslist to purchase a box truck for $5000 with the intent to convert it into a mobile shower unit where homeless people could have a safe place to shower and shave.

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Austin also used GoFundMe to raise additional funds to help him with his vision. The funds he raised from his GoFundmMe campaign were used to turn the interior of the truck into a mobile shower unit. The showers get their water by hooking up to fire hydrants, and an external generator provides the electricity that heats the water for the users of the showers.

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The shower area offers curtains that can be drawn to give people some more added privacy. Plus, there are cabinets for people to place their personal items and a place for people to shave and or wash their faces if they don’t want to take a full shower.

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Austin decided to name this project Shower to the People.This mobile unit goes throughout the St. Louis area and provides showers to approximately 60 people per day. Austin’s organization provides people with everything they need from soap and shampoo to towels and razors.

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Austin added another opportunity to help people. It is called, Raise the Bar, and this program employs homeless people to help make soap for Shower to the People. The soaps made by Raise the Bar is given to users of the mobile shower for free and some of the soap is sold to the public to help fund the entire mobile shower project.

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These mobile showers are helping people to get clean and provide dignity to a segment of the population that tends to be overlooked. This service is also helping people to take a needed step to find a job because when people have hygiene issues it’s nearly impossible to find a job.

To learn more about Shower to the People check out the video below.

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