Jake Austin has been helping the homeless and needy in St. Louis for years. Previously, he gave out free things as often as he could. Toothpaste, combs, shampoo, and other sanitary products, nothing was off-limits and he tried to help as many people as he could…but he soon realized that these people didn’t actually have a place to use them other than cramped public restrooms. Showers were few and far-between. What was he to do?
So he came up with an amazing idea. First, he purchased a used truck on Craigslist for $5,000. Next, he ran a campaign to renovate the interior using a GoFundMe account. He was successful and equipped the back of the truck with two showers, two sinks, and two mirrors. Safety rails, clothes and towel hooks, and curtains on a rail provide a nice getaway for people who would find themselves going weeks between showers.
The truck hooks up to fire hydrants as a water source and relies on an external generator for the lights and power.
Being mobile, the truck can travel anywhere in the city and provide warm showers, clean shaves, and a friendly environment free of judgement and grime. It is so efficient that the truck can give 60 showers a day to people who need it the most.
Outside of the truck, he sets up a table giving out sanitary products for everyone to use in the shower. He also started a program called “Raise the Bar” that employs homeless people to make soap.