SPOKANE, Wash. — A Spokane organization is creating Spokane’s first mobile showering system.
The group, Jewels Helping Hands, says they want to give people experiencing homeless a chance to have a fresh start.
“We noticed the hardship of people not getting to shower,” said the group's founder Julie Garcia. “I know [the showers] are available, so it’s not like they’re not being provided. It’s the access to getting there. They can’t get to the shower every day with all of their things, so their laundry is not getting done.”
In 2018, Oahu, Hawaii debuted its mobile hygiene buses. They’re vehicles that provide hot showers to people living on the streets. Garcia said this is what sparked the idea of bringing the showers to Spokane.
After seeing the many donations the group gave to the city’s warming shelters throughout the winter, the Guardians Foundation donated a showering trailer to the organization.
It has four stalls that can provide a total of about 200 showers each day, based on the trailer’s tank size.
Garcia said she would like to start using the trailer at least once a week, possibly more during the summer months.
“If we can help provide a shower for somebody, they can get to a job interview,” she said. “They can just be clean. I think it will help them feel more human. It will help this whole process with them being able to integrate back into society.”
Before people can start using the showers, Garcia said she needs to find a place to park the trailer and hook it up to a water supply.
“We’re hoping that some businesses will step up and volunteer and just say, ‘Hey, we have a parking lot. We have a hose. Come spend three hours here,’” she said.
The shower trailer will attach to the back of bus the organization already owns, making it mobile.
Garcia said her husband is working to renovate the bus and remove some of its seats so there is more room for its passengers’ belongings.
She said she hopes they will have everything up and running by the end of April.