DENVER — There will be a new mobile building on the streets of downtown to help those experiencing homelessness.
Bayaud Enterprises, a company focused on "reducing hurdles for individuals to engage in the workforce and attain self-reliance," launched a new shower truck to serve those in need by offering showers to get a fresh start.
“Having those types of dignity related services is important,” said Sharon Richey, the administrative development lead for Denver Day Works. “Having a clean body gives you such a renewal. Being able to know that you got the grime out from under nails for a day. That you can present yourself for a job opportunity.”
Richey said she and her son were homeless for about two years as a result of a domestic violence situation at home.
“I had always had a successful life,” said Richey. “Twenty-two years in mortgage banking, big career, owned homes, and things fell out of control much faster than you realize.”
Richey now helps run programs that offer work to those experiencing homelessness through Denver Day Works, a division of Bayaud Enterprises. It's the same group that helped her get back on her feet.
“I’m in permanent housing now through Denver Housing Authority," she said. "My son and I now have a safe place, he’s doing well in middle school and things have really turned around for us based on having opportunities like this.”
The new mobile shower truck is meant to give more people those opportunities.
It comes equipped with two wheelchair accessible shower stalls with sinks and mirrors. The truck will even provide donated soap, shampoo and towels.
Bayaud Enterprises custom-built this truck and said it will be staffed by those with disabilities or who have experienced homelessness themselves.
The truck cost $50,000 to build, funded mostly by donations from the Wiesner Family Foundation.
“Having services to have some of that dignity replaced and some of that hope,” said Richey. “It’s so renewing, it gives you that hope and that ability to see your fellow man not so much as them versus us kind of thing.”
The group said while the city provides bathrooms, they believe this is Denver’s first Shower Truck.
They said they created it because they asked the homeless community what they need and access to showers was one common response.
Bayaud Enterprises said they will use the truck to go directly to where the people who need the service are, so the individuals don’t have to find transportation.
“Someone experiencing "houselessness" is not necessarily what you commonly think,” said Richey. “It’s someone just like myself, goes through a bad patch and things spiral out of your control much quicker than you think.”
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