ORLANDO, Fla. — For many, a hot shower is a part of the daily routine, but for countless homeless youth in Central Florida, access to basic hygiene needs can be a struggle.
A collaborative effort between several Central Florida organizations seeks to offer some relief.
The nonprofit organization Service and Love Together, or SALT, unveiled a new mobile shower facility Friday specifically for homeless kids and young adults.
Nicknamed “The Beast” the mobile shower trailer is the newest addition to services available to Central Florida’s homeless.
It features three restrooms and a washer and dryer.
“It’s dedicated to young adults experiencing homelessness in Central Florida, " SALT Executive Director Eric Camarilla explained.
Camarillo thanks a partnership with Simply Healthcare Plans, which presented a $150,000 check to pay for the trailer.
An $8.4-million federal grant awarded to the Homeless Services Network of Central Florida funds the initiative.
The shower is meant specifically for Central Florida’s fastest growing homeless group.
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Central Florida has the highest concentrations of youth homelessness in the nation.
Seminole County has about 2,700 youth between the ages of 16 and 24 experiencing homelessness right now. In Osceola County, there are another 3,000, and in Orange County, approximately 6,700.
Having once been homeless himself, Camarillo says he still remembers the despair he felt.
“When you are homeless and you can’t take a shower for three or four days in the Florida heat, it is unbearable,” Camarillo said.
Because of a recent fire at the Coalition for the Homeless in Orlando, the trailer will be located at Shiloh Baptist Church on West Jackson St. for the next two weeks to help with that effort.
After that, the mobile shower will be placed at Covenant House Florida on Colonial Drive.
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