Clean getaway: Mobile shower will soon traverse boro streets

Clean getaway: Mobile shower will soon traverse boro streets
Brooklyn Community Services

Talk about a car wash!

A shower-on-wheels will start rolling across Brooklyn next year, giving homeless locals a private place to bathe — a basic privilege that will help empower their efforts to get off the streets, the beep announced on Wednesday.

“This is going to be a symbol that our homeless men and women can identify as a safe space, not only to clean themselves, but to start the process of holding on to their dignity,” said Borough President Adams. “You cannot sit in a classroom, or get on the subway or the bus, if you cannot deal with your basic hygiene needs.”

Adams coughed up $308,000 from his 2018 capital budget to fund the roving washroom, with Council allocating an additional $77,000 to purchase and retrofit a school bus with two stalls equipped with overhead showers, toilets, shampoo, body wash, and towels.

The clean machine — which will be jointly run by local do-good groups Brooklyn Community Services and Turning Point — will travel all over the Borough of Kings, parking at various medical centers, homeless shelters, and food pantries to service those in need of a scrub, the beep said.

And it won’t just serve the homeless — other marginalized groups including sex workers, day laborers, and runaway LGBTQ youngsters are welcome to hop on and wash off, according to Adams, whose office said the bus’s exact route and schedule will be set after chatting with the community.

Bureaucratic red tape is delaying the arrival of Brooklyn’s bus-turned-bathroom till next year, but the beep said he’s pushing the city to expedite its debut because people who simply need a place to wash their hair shouldn’t have to wait that long.

“There’s no reason we can’t get his bus rolling within the next couple of months,” Adams said. “A simple shower is something we can do.”

And this isn’t the first mobile shower to hit local streets. Last year, locals in Park Slope Councilman Brad Lander’s district voted through participatory budgeting to put $60,000 towards a trailer equipped with bathing facilities for patrons of a neighborhood soup kitchen.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.