When we think of homelessness, our minds often go straight to issues of hunger.
And that makes sense, since basic sustenance is a massive problem for people in dire straits. What we don't often consider, however, is how cyclical the issue is and how difficult it is for people to get out from under its thumb.
Think about how hard it is to land job interviews from a place of relative privilege. Think about how finding employment feels impossible even as you apply for positions from the comfort of your own home with the promise of a warm shower every morning and with a freshly pressed suit or pencil skirt at the ready. When passersby see homeless people on the street, many heartlessly shout, "Get a job!" But how can you get a job without access to basic necessities?
That's a question one organization is answering in its own way.
FOCUS North America introduces Shower to the People, which operates out of a redesigned truck that is helping those experiencing homelessness regain their dignity and restore their faith.
The St. Louis-based group has one mission: "Shower to the People seeks to restore dignity, foster hope, and empower upward mobility to our friends and neighbors living on the streets of our beloved city."
"Society tells us that the poor are in some way lesser to us," a representative writes on the organization's website.
"Even in the midst of charitable intentions, this corrosive attitude tells us to feel sorry for those who have less and can rob us of our empathy, replacing it with pity."
But by working to help homeless people in their community feel dignified, these volunteers leave pity in the dust and instead take a proactive approach.
To learn more about Shower to the People, check this out.
But to get a real sense of how this service makes people feel, you need to hear it from them.
To donate or volunteer, check this out.