Siouxland Community Health Center sees increase in use of mobile showers

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – For the second year, Siouxland Community Health Center is offering its mobile showers to the public.

With shelters closing during the pandemic, some people were left with limited options on where to go, and so far the number of people using the mobile showers has more than doubled from last year.

Last year, the Center’s mobile showers averaged eight showers per day. This year, it’s averaging 19 per day.

“Last year the whole season we had 296. So far this year, in August, we’re at 477, so we’ve increased dramatically,” Brendyn Richards, the Director of Development and Advocacy for Siouxland Community Health Center, said.

He adds that for some people it’s more than just a shower.

“One guy in particular, that every time he takes a shower he says thanks for making me feel human again and making me feel clean,” Richards said.

Brandi Steck is the Center’s program manager.

She said the showers not only play a role in the physical health of community members but their mental health, too.

“At the end of a bad day, what you want to do is you want to go home. You want to take a shower and get in some comfy clothes and relax. People living on the street, they don’t have the ability to do that. So just being able to have our showers here so they can get clean and put on a clean pair of socks, it makes them feel good,” Steck said.

Hygiene kits, towels, and even clothes are given out to people using the showers. Volunteers also supply food and snacks.

For now, the mobile showers are open on Tuesdays and Fridays from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. until the end of the fall season.

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