Homelessness is a growing issue in just about every U.S. city, and Pueblo is no exception. Now, the Pueblo Cooperative Care Center is trying something new, and they need your help.
It’s an idea built on the premise that human dignity starts with hygiene: showers and laundry, and a sense of well-being.
For those experiencing homelessness, cleanliness is one of the first things to go. Volunteer Linda Musso says permanent housing is the final answer, but that can take a while.
“In the meantime, people are miserable and one of the biggest concerns we hear about is being dirty,” she said.
Corry Higbee is the Executive Director of Pueblo’s Cooperative Care Center. They’ve been helping Pueblo’s homeless population since 1982 with services like food and clothing.
“Last year we served just over 37,000,” Higbee said, “This year it’ll be more.”
Higbee says life on the outside could be improved tremendously if people had access to a toilet, a shower, a washer and dryer.
“It’s hard to go for a job interview, or ride a bus for a medical appointment, anything that puts you in the midst of other people and know that you don’t smell nice and you don’t feel nice,” said Musso.
Their idea is a mobile shower trailer and laundry truck, similar to the ones used after natural disasters. The trailer would have three private bathrooms, including a flushing toilet, sink, mirror, and shower. One of the bathrooms would be handicapped accessible. The laundry truck would house six commercial washers and dryers.
Currently, the county has shower facilities in a local gymnasium, but Musso says having to shuttle people is a challenge – one that a mobile unit would solve.
“It’s a long walk. To be able to go around to the different areas and take the showers and the laundry truck is our goal,” she said.
The unit is not cheap. Running upwards of 300-hundred thousand dollars to launch the program and run it the first year. Still, Higbee says Pueblo is a very giving community – ready to roll.
If you would like to help their current efforts, they’re in need of bathroom supplies like shampoo and soap, underwear, socks and volunteer drivers on Friday mornings. Click here for more info.
KRDO Only 2019