A Clean Slate: Missouri couple raises funds to buy mobile showers for homeless individuals

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Kansas City couple is working to give those who are homeless a new start.

Kelsha and Jeremy James are on a mission to bring a mobile shower trailer to their community by the end of the summer.

“I know after a hard day of work or just being out and about, once I go home and take a shower, I feel so much better,” Kelsha said. “Just imagine those who don’t have that luxury to be fresh and clean.”

Their organization, With A Good Purpose, is currently fundraising to buy the trailer, which will cost around $55,000. They’re calling it Clean Slate.

“It has six individual stalls that are equipped with a sink, toilet and a shower and they have private doors, so they can have privacy,” Kelsha said. “It comes with a 250-gallon tank of water. So we would have to find places to fill that – either metered water where we pay for it or donations from churches.”

“A lot of times, when people become homeless, society tends to push them off. And we want to give them a clean slate and bring them back in because they’re people,” Jeremy said.

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Kelsha and Jeremy spent part of their weekend gathering feedback from the homeless community about why something like this would be beneficial. Much of the feedback they received was that the mobile shower would help them find a job or prevent them from getting sick.

Alfredo Palacol is the program director at Hope Faith, a homeless assistance program. He said hygiene is one of the biggest issues for those without a home.

“We know in larger cities, we have things like hepatitis breakouts because the lack of hygiene, so to be able to go out into the encampments, out to the community and provide hygiene showering services would be an amazing addition to the community,” Palacol said.

The James’ have raised more than $2,000 for the trailer through a GoFundMe campaign. They're also accepting donations at Community America Credit Union. They’re confident their dream will come to fruition.

Kelsha said the plan is to operate Clean Slate six days a week. It will be manned by volunteers and set up near homeless camps across the city.

“Everybody deserves some hope,” Kelsha said.

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