ProJo: Program provides mobile showers, other services for homeless in Providence

Shower to Empower, an initiative of House of Hope, consists of a trailer with showers and air-conditioned rooms where the city's homeless or housing insecure can get free haircuts and medical exams. The program provided its 500th shower to those in need on Wednesday.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A small group of people sat on a curb behind a McDonald's on Central St. early Wednesday morning, waiting their turn to use the showers inside a mobile unit parked along the sidewalk.

They wiped sweat from their brows as temperatures crept into the 90s, the sun baking the concrete beneath their feet.

“It just makes you feel grumpy,” said Kasandra, a 35-year-old woman who did not want to give her last name. “When you're clean, you feel good about yourself.”

The program, called Shower to Empower, is an initiative of House of Hope, a nonprofit that works to house homeless people in Rhode Island. It consists of a mobile trailer with two shower units and two small, air-conditioned rooms where clients can get free haircuts and medical examinations.

The program is funded through the end of December with a $190,224 Providence Emergency Solutions Grant.

The trailer parks at 59 Central St. and operates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Clients who are homeless or housing insecure can come, take a 15-minute shower and access any of the other services the staff provides, including basic medical care and case management, said Laura Jaworski, executive director of House of Hope.

People use the service to take a shower and get a haircut before a job interview, clean up after sleeping on the street or enjoy a much-needed moment of peace and privacy, she said.

To view the complete article, visit Providence Journal

Courtesy of Providence Journal

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