Proper hygiene and access to amenities that facilitate good hygiene are a basic necessity. As the fight to combat and prevent homelessness in the County continues, the Board of Supervisors passed a motion, authored by Supervisors Hilda L. Solis and co-authored by Supervisor Kathryn Barger, to establish a mobile shower pilot program at Whittier Narrows Recreation Area and in East Pasadena.
“Homelessness is a reality for nearly 57,000 people in the County. Providing access to a shower to someone who doesn’t have access to one often can help on a job interview,” said Supervisor Solis. “For children, a shower is often the difference between going to school or not. Above all, this pilot program can help people regain their self-confidence and dignity – even if they are experiencing homelessness.”
Lava Mae and Shower of Hope, two mobile shower service providers, have been identified to operate the program. Mobile shower trailers will include shower stalls and hygiene supplies, and will be located near homeless encampments. Lava Mae and Shower of Hope have offered to self-fund the initial months of the pilot program so no County funds are needed to sustain this pilot project. In addition to the program, the County’s Homeless Initiative has consulted with local providers to schedule outreach teams and other providers to visit the mobile shower sites on the days they are operational and offer support services.
“For the past year and a half Lava Mae has been delivering mobile hygiene to people experiencing homelessness across Los Angeles because we believe hygiene is a basic human right that should be accessible to all,” said Lava Mae Founder/CEO Doniece Sandoval. “We look forward to partnering on this new initiative to bring mobile showers to the streets, and help more unhoused neighbors rekindle dignity, restore a sense of health and well-being, and unlock the opportunity that comes with being clean.”
Today’s motion not only enables the pilot program, but also asks the Chief Executive Office along with the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) to report back to the Board on the effectiveness of the program 90 days after the program launches.
In November 2017, Supervisor Solis asked County departments to look into the feasibility of creating the mobile showers program. Those experiencing homelessness will now have the opportunity to access a shower and take care of their hygiene needs. Mobile shower providers report that access to mobile showers can help individuals to retain and obtain employment, increase self-esteem and well-being, and may facilitate uptake of other services.
Contact: Jessie Gomez, Communications Deputy, (213) 974-4111 or email@example.com