Executive Dow Constantine announced the launch of a new program bringing a mobile shower to people experiencing homelessness in Kent, Renton, and Seattle. The mobile shower by Clean the World, a global leader in water, sanitation, hygiene, and sustainability, brings health and hygiene to those currently unsheltered in our region.
King County launched the mobile shower at several locations across the region to support basic hygiene needs for people experiencing homelessness. The mobile shower, purchased with American Rescue Plan funds, is part of key strategic initiatives laid out last year to support people experiencing homelessness. This program brings clean water, soap, and washing facilities that reduces the risk of infection and illness like COVID-19. Currently, the mobile shower visits sites in North Seattle, downtown Seattle, South Seattle, and South King County. The program is slated to expand locations throughout the year.
“The ability to bathe is basic to human dignity, and something most of us are fortunate to be able to take for granted. The launch of this mobile shower with our partners at Clean the World gives people the chance to feel refreshed, gain confidence, and live healthy lives,” said Executive Constantine. “The additional funds from Congress for this project are greatly appreciated as we look to identify strategies big and small to support those experiencing homelessness across our region.”
The shower trailer is completely self-contained and can provide up to 250 showers a week. It includes four private stalls with sink, toilet, shower, and dressing area, including one ADA compliant stall equipped with a baby changing station. The unit is sanitized after each use. Hygiene kits, including soap, shampoo, toothbrush, and toothpaste will be provided along with towels.
Individuals will eventually be able to access wrap-around services at partner host sites that may consist of mental health or substance abuse assessments, food assistance, help getting identification, clean clothes, healthcare, veterinary care for animals, job placement training, and housing assistance. At some locations, Clean the World plans to partner in the future with the County’s Mobile Medical Van.
“Expanding the Fresh Start WASH & Wellness Program into King County means connecting the vulnerable population in this area to critical hygiene and wellness services that will offer a comprehensive approach to both physical and mental health. King County wants to support people experiencing homelessness with the resources needed to transition out of their situation and make them healthier and more confident in the process,” says Shawn Seipler, Founder & CEO, Clean the World. “A warm shower, hygiene supplies, and access to vital resources offered through our many service partners is a big step in that direction.”
King County Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS) is partnering with cities in South King County to deploy the mobile shower unit, in addition to operating Seattle locations. Hours of operation will vary at each location.