A true hero for so many, doing what he can and what it takes to help the homeless get a second chance in life. However, what he’s doing is not your everyday help that most spare daily for the homeless, it’s so much more. It’s not food, it’s not water, and it’s not shelter, its hygiene. It’s giving them a chance to regain their dignity and begin a journey that will help them build a life again.
Jake Austin of St. Louis, MO, had an idea to create a mobile shower system for the homeless. It wasn’t just an idea, it was a dream that he turned into a reality.
He purchased an old truck for $5,000 and converted it making it an actuality.
The truck hooks up to a hose or even a fire hydrant and heats the water with an external source he had built. Two people are able to shower at the same time, safely, using separate showers. It’s very clean, modern and most of all its free. But it doesn’t stop there.
“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 daily. To have clean water means you have the ability to clean yourself and that’s crucial in today’s world.
“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.
If only society concentrated on helping each other instead of thinking of ways to hurt each other, our planet would definitely be a safer place for us and most important, for our children.