Wednesday, April 06, 2016

$5,000 and a lot of hard work by one Missouri pastor convert a used box truck to into mobile showers for the homeless.

Austin found a used truck and began outfitting its interior with shower stalls, sinks, and privacy curtains for dressing. An additional row of sinks outside will let more people wash their faces and brush their teeth. A local pipefitters union installed the truck’s plumbing, a linen service has volunteered to launder towels, and an RV center donated finishing work.

“Clean people are happier, healthier, and more hopeful,” Austin says. “When you step out of the shower, you feel like a million bucks.”  (Similarly, Lava Mae in San Francisco was posted last October )

Austin has worked with the homeless almost his entire life — his parents ran a soup kitchen when he was growing up. But the importance of showers for the homeless was made clear to him just a little over a year ago.

Handing out hygiene supplies to the homeless, a man thanked him for a bar of soap, then asked him where he could use it. Austin realized even with food and clean clothes, a person who hadn’t bathed in months would never land a job.

He created “Shower to the People,” a non-profit to provide hot showers to people living on the streets of St. Louis. The group’s logo hearkens back to the 60s, but with a twist— a fist is thrust into the air, clutching a bar of soap.

His friend Collin Loveless did marketing and designed the Shower to the People logo — a red, upraised fist holding a bar of soap. Loveless, who was passionate about working with the homeless, was killed by a drunken driver at Interstate 170 and Delmar Boulevard a year ago. Austin wants “In memory of Collin Loveless” written somewhere on the truck. He’s looking for someone to wrap the bold red graphics on the side panels, and make the truck look professional yet approachable and fun.

While people gather to get a shower, Austin wants to reach out and find out more about them, and connect them with other services available in the area. He also wants to gather demographic information to help advocates come up with new ways to help.


  1. Thanks so much for sharing this! I've known Jake and a few others involved for a while and I'm so proud of the work they've done to get Shower To The People to be a reality. Great write up Jesse. :)

    1. you're welcome, and thank you! I've tried to help spread the good news about similar charitable and awesome mobile help for the homeless in the past, like the laundry in Australia, and the showers in San Fran... and the food truck in San Antonio. I can't help the homeless, I am one. But I can use my website to help get the good word out about awesome charities, and maybe that will also inspire people to help others. Next time you see Jake, tell him I want him to know he's effing awesome. For the other charities I've learned of and featured here, click on the tab "charity" or use this link