HSC INSTALLS SHOWER TRAILER AND LAUNCHES SHOWER PROGRAM
HUMAN SERVICES CAMPUS INSTALLS 12-BAY SHOWER TRAILER; LAUNCHES SHOWER PROGRAM FOR INDIVIDUALS EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS
PHOENIX, Ariz. (June 29, 2020): The Human Services Campus (HSC), Inc. has purchased and installed a shower trailer with 12 private shower stalls and launched a three-times-a-week shower program for individuals experiencing homelessness on the 13-acre campus near downtown Phoenix.
Clients are able to take 10-minute showers from 8-10 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Towels, washcloths, and hygiene products are provided.
Since the program began in late April, dozens of men and women experiencing homelessness have taken advantage of the opportunity.
“These are people who are typically not able to access a shelter bed,” said HSC Executive Director Amy Schwabenlender. “Central Arizona Shelter Services (CASS) offers showers to individuals who have been assigned shelter beds, but with the CASS shelter full every night, hundreds of individuals have no safe place to sleep and no safe place to shower.
“The challenges of homelessness are overwhelming on a daily basis, but being able to take a shower offers a chance to refresh both physically and emotionally,” she added, “The trailer means that more of our clients have access to this resource.”
Schwabenlender said that the onset of summer temperatures “only intensifies the challenges of being unsheltered and makes the chance to take a shower even more meaningful. And, people tell us consistently how grateful they are.”
Rising temperatures also are the reason for the annual ThirstAid water drive. Donations are accepted any time, and on the third Saturday of each month when HSC staff collects bottles of water to meet the expected need for 60,000 bottles a month through October. It also is the time of year when the campus designates emergency space at the St. Vincent de Paul dining room to provide an overnight escape from the 100-plus degree days and nights for a limited number of individuals.
In 2019, more individuals experiencing homelessness than ever before were victims of heat-associated death, according to the Maricopa County Public Health annual report. Last year, 67 individuals, or 37 percent of the 197 who died from heat-related causes, were unhoused at the time of their deaths. In 2018, 61 individuals experiencing homeless died from the heat, a record at the time.
The New York Times, using figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reported that the annual number of deaths attributed to heat exposure In Arizona more than tripled from 2014 to 2017.
In addition to cases of bottled water, which can be scheduled for drop-off by calling (602) 282-0849 or by emailing email@example.com, other items being collected for the summer include:
- Summer Kits (sunscreen, hats, visors, sunglasses, Chapstick, aloe burn gel, reusable water bottles)
- White flat hotel-grade sheets (twin size preferred) and non-perishable snacks like granola bars, trail mix, or oatmeal.
For more information visit www.hsc-az.org.
About the Human Services Campus
Founded in 2005, the Human Services Campus is a collaborative force of partner organizations united on one campus to end homelessness. Located just west of downtown Phoenix, 16 independent agencies on the Campus see nearly 1,000 individuals every day, offering a holistic range of client services including: reunification with family and friends; mental, physical and dental health; shelter; employment; meals; legal services and housing. Having all of these resources in one location with intra-agency communications makes it more feasible to provide a customized engagement for each client to help end their homelessness. For more information, visit www.hsc-az.org.