DENVER (CBS4) – This weekend, anyone in need can get a hot shower and a good breakfast at Saint Joseph Hospital in Denver. This Saturday, from 9 a.m. to noon, SLC Health and Living Well Showers are providing a trailer with four shower stalls and other resources for the homeless.
“It’s certainly not traditional to healthcare and it might not seem like healthcare at all, but once a month Saint Joseph Hospital hooks up a trailer with four shower stalls to a water source and provides much-needed showers and other resources for the homeless community in Denver,” organizers stated.
The service includes private, lockable shower stalls, safe storage for personal items, clothing and free toiletries. Breakfast includes a burrito and fruit.
“Some people come for all of the above while some just come for some breakfast while sitting and talking with friends,” officials said.
Saint Joseph Hospital is located on 19th Avenue, just west of Downing Street.
The Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Lakewood operates the Living Well shower trailer. Living Well provides showers at several locations around Denver each week and has been coming to Saint Joe’s once a month since June.
“The simple gift of a hot shower along with some food and clean clothes can contribute to that person having a better day,” stated Chuck Ault, Regional Director of Community Health, who coordinates the showers.
Officials say the program has been a great success so far.
“In June, 60 people came during the three-hour window and 26 took showers. In July, 55 came and 28 took showers. After taking August off, 41 people stopped by in September and 22 took showers,” organizers stated.
People who sign up for a shower get 30 minutes in the shower stall. Living Well volunteers clean the stalls after each shower and get it ready for the next person.
The trailer has three standard stalls and one wheelchair-accessible stall.
Organizers say the program also allows volunteers to better get to know those in the homeless community, understand their challenges and appreciate the diversity of their backgrounds and life experiences.
“Those who volunteer to help with the shower truck are struck by how much the experience challenges their own definition of who an individual experiencing homelessness is,” Ault stated. “At the end of the day everyone feels like they’ve made a difference, however temporarily, in the life of another.”