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Burnaby non-profit brings first mobile shower program to Metro Vancouver

Click to play video: 'Providing mobile showers to homeless individuals'
Providing mobile showers to homeless individuals
WATCH: Homeless people in Burnaby will soon have access to a portable shower and washroom station, thanks in part to the advocacy of The Society to End Homelessness in Burnaby. Global News Morning speaks with Executive Director Carol-Ann Flanagan about how the initiative came about – Apr 19, 2022

A non-profit dedicated to eradicating homelessness has pioneered Metro Vancouver’s first mobile shower program.

The self-contained washing units on wheels will be available every Thursday between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. at the Neighbourhood Church in Burnaby, said the Society to End Homelessness in Burnaby.

Guests are asked to limit their showers to 15 minutes so as many folks in need can access the shower as possible. Volunteers will sanitize the units in between each client.

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Carol-Ann Flanagan, executive director of the Society to End Homelessness in Burnaby, said the mobile showers have been on the group’s “wish list” for many years. The program was made possible through a grant from the City of Burnaby and the Union of BC Municipalities.

“We know that a lot of our homeless folks have one or two health issues and hygiene is a big step up for them,” Flanagan said at the program’s launch on Tuesday.

“We’re very happy and proud to offer this service to our guests … our newest shower program hopefully will give people some dignity.”

Read more: ‘Absurd’: New bylaw endangers the unhoused in Prince George, B.C. dual reports find

Eventually, Flanagan said the society hopes to obtain a truck dedicated for the showers, so they can be toted elsewhere in Metro Vancouver more easily.

The mobile shower program is the first in the area, she said, adding that similar programs exist in Abbotsford, B.C. in Edmonton.

“We’re trying to lift people up,” said Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley, congratulating the group for its successful launch.

“This shower system here is going to make such a difference.”

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