Damiano Center brings showers to the streets | www.WDIO.com

Damiano Center brings showers to the streets

Emily Ness
Updated: January 03, 2021 10:29 PM
Created: January 03, 2021 02:39 PM

Some go days, weeks and even months without showering while experiencing homelessness. This takes a grave toll on mental, physical and emotional health.

To improve overall health and restore dignity to countless men and women, the Damiano Center is bringing showers to the streets through a mobile shower unit.

Seth Currier, Executive Director at the Damiano Center, said the unit was purchased for $68,000 through a grant from the Cares Act that was just over $70,000.

The unit contains six stalls that each have a shower, a sink and a toilet.

“It’s something that not everybody has access to, and sometimes we don’t always think about that,” Currier said.

According to Currier, the unit will be operational most of the year and the Damiano Center will provide shampoo, body wash and towels for guests using it.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Currier predicts it will be especially helpful for people experiencing homelessness.

“Especially with COVID, there’s been a lot of places that for public health reasons can’t let people come in all the time and use the facilities and so not even just the shower, but also a toilet and so this will be able to provide some opportunity for that too,” Currier said.

At large, the unit has a 150 gallon tank for water and an 850 gallon tank for waste.

“We will be physically filling up the tanks and then pumping out the sewage tank probably pretty regularly,” Currier said.

So far, Currier has heard positive feedback from the community.

“When they see that shower emblem on it, they are getting really excited,” Currier said. “They are excited to use it."

Commissioner Ashley Grimm for St. Louis County’s Third District worked at the Damiano Center for many years. There, Grimm ran the center's Family Programming and helped create the center's Summer Food Corps program. She voiced her support for the mobile shower unit.

“It’s something that advocates and people experiencing homelessness have been asking for, for years—to be able to keep their jobs, to be able to live lives with dignity and so I’m really proud of the work the Damiano Center did to actually make that happen,” Grimm said.

The goal is to have the mobile shower unit fully up and running in the next couple weeks.

“The Damiano Center is really dedicated to making people’s lives better and I think this will definitely do that,” Grimm said.

Anyone who would like to help support the Damiano Center’s mobile shower unit can do so here.

Credits

Emily Ness

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