Last month Bayaud Enterprises launched a new shower truck, a first-of-its-kind trailer that will provide private showers to Denver’s homeless population.
There are two showers on the trailer. Although there are sometimes showers at the shelter spaces throughout Denver, there can be a long line, or the showers are in a large bathroom. The Bayaud showers are completely private, and the nonprofit will provide toiletries such as shampoo and body wash.
David Henninger, the CEO and co-founder of Bayaud, said that providing mobile services is important to the mission of the nonprofit. In addition to the laundry and shower trucks, Bayaud offers employment and works with the city to eliminate barriers to employment for homeless individuals.
“I consider being a nonprofit, particularly a charitable nonprofit, a privilege,” Henninger said. “Bayaud belongs to the community.”
After the success of its laundry truck, staff at Bayaud Enterprises wanted to see what other ways they could help provide valuable resources to Denver’s homeless population. The laundry truck first launched in 2017. A second truck was later added to the rotation. Each truck can do around 30 loads of laundry. For more information on the laundry truck, read Life on Capitol Hill’s story from September 2018, at https://bit.ly/2BMB7kD.
Similar to the laundry truck, the shower truck will connect to a hydrant with Denver Water. The water that runs through the system will go into a plastic container on the trailer that Bayaud later disposes of. Bayaud staff estimated that they will be able to run around 10 showers before the container is full.
There is also a low-energy heater for the showers.
Both the laundry and shower truck will travel around Denver, with the times and locations made available on the company’s website.
Britta Fisher, chief housing officer with the city’s new Department of Housing Stability, said the new shower truck is an example of what impact local businesses can have on the community.
“This is an innovative service that’s so needed,” she said. “It’s not just a government response, it’s not just a nonprofit response, it’s not just a for-profit response, but that we all work together in order to have a community wide response to people in need.”
Vikki Stevens, along with her husband Dan Yagow, donated $10,000 to fund the new shower truck. Stevens has been volunteering for Bayaud and several other organizations that aid the homeless in Denver for the last several years.
“I’m very familiar with the needs,” she said of her experience. Having a mobile shower means that Bayaud can bring this resource to wherever people are. This is helpful, because some of the homeless population in Denver may be unaware of the different resources available to them, Stevens said.
Showers and clean clothes are some of the top things that homeless people need in order to get job interviews or other resources.
“You have to be clean,” Stevens said.
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