The New York City borough of Brooklyn unveiled its plan to provide free showers for the homeless through a mobile shower service bus.
CBS New York reports that the proposed shower bus would travel to food pantries, highway underpasses, parks, and other places where homeless regularly gather.
The plan is currently in the design phase and is modeled after a retrofitted bus in San Francisco that contains two shower stalls, sinks, toilets, and benches.
The shower bus would also be outfitted with free soap, shampoo, shaving kits, and clean underwear and socks.
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“We are offering them these services hoping that it’s just a stepping stone for them to regain their dignity and their life,” said Tata Traore-Rogers of Turning Point, a New York City-based nonprofit that will manage the operation of the bus.
The mobile shower unit carries an estimated price tag of $385,000. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adam announced Wednesday that his office would fund $308,000 towards the project and the City Council would cover the other $77,000.
Adams addressed concerns from Brooklyn residents who may not be on board with the bus, suggesting that residents who do not want a mobile shower unit should allow the homeless to use their showers.
“People are not homeless because they’re encouraged to be homeless,” he said. “The best way not to have a mobile shower unit on that block is to open their doors — and their own showers.”
Officials estimate that the bus will be up and running in about a year.