CONTACT: Justin Renteria, 210-207-0900
SAN ANTONIO (January 30, 2020) — By a vote of 10-1, City Council approved a contract with Ameri-Can Engineering to purchase an 8.5 x 20-foot mobile shower trailer with a 3-station combo (2 Standard Stalls and 1 ADA Stall) that will provide hygienic assistance to individuals experiencing homelessness or other community emergencies. In December 2018, District 1 Councilmember Roberto Treviño requested the City of San Antonio initiate a mobile shower program after he noticed the positive impact a warm shower had on the refugees travelling through the southern border.
“For those experiencing homelessness, access to showers is often the first step in rekindling a feeling of dignity and upending the vicious cycle of homelessness,” said Treviño. “No one should be denied access to cleanliness.”
A majority of Mayor and City Council contributed portions of their City Council Project Funds (CCPF), and the Department of Human Services (DHS) committed dollars out of their general fund towards the purchase of the mobile shower unit. DHS will also oversee deployment of the shower trailer.
“Taking a shower every day is something most of us might take for granted,” said Melody Woosley, Director, Department of Human Services. “With the purchase of this mobile shower unit, we will be able to provide an important service to homeless individuals in need, helping them to have the comfort and confidence to access services and to assist them with challenges they may face. The Department of Human Services develops collaborative strategies and maximizes resources to improve the quality of life for the most vulnerable in our community.”
As part of District 1’s request, DHS partnered with Christian Assistance Ministries (CAM) and Baptist Child and Family Services (BCFS) in July to implement a mobile shower pilot program which provided a total of 1,407 families experiencing homelessness with showers as of December 31, 2019.
“We said yes to piloting this shower program because we heard from our clients that it was a top 3 need. We had no idea how transformative it would be not only on the outside but on the inside,” said Dawn White-Fosdick, Executive Director of Christian Assistance Ministry. “The showers provided a time for clarity and hope for a brighter future for those we served. It is a vital program to address our homeless issues. It provides a means for better health, cleanliness and even a means to getting a job.”
Currently, there more than one hundred mobile hygiene programs throughout the world. Councilman Treviño hopes to see medical, mental-health, legal and other resources such as ID recovery, deployed alongside the mobile shower. The anticipated delivery date for the mobile shower is early to mid-April 2020.