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May 19, 2024

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First-of-Its-Kind Plan
For Mobile Shower Service


BROOKLYN, NY, January 17, 2018: Today, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams announced a partnership between his administration, Brooklyn Community Services (BCS), and Turning Point Brooklyn to establish a first-of-its-kind a mobile shower service that will travel across the borough to serve homeless Brooklynites and other at-risk populations, such as day laborers, sex workers, and runaway LGBTQ+ youth. Borough President Adams, who has been outspoken on establishing better community coordination to empower Brooklyn’s homeless families, spoke about how this initiative will uplift a community in need.

“Being destitute should not be a signal for a lack of dignity and respect,” said Borough President Adams. “This bus is going to become a symbol where our homeless men and women will be able to identify a safe space, not only to clean themselves but to start the process of holding on to their dignity. You cannot get a job if you cannot walk into a space to deal with your basic hygiene needs. You cannot sit in a classroom; you cannot get on the subway, the bus, if you cannot deal with your basic hygiene needs.”

This retrofitted bus, funded by $308,000 from Borough President Adams’ Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) capital budget and $77,000 from the New York City Council, will have two individual shower units, each with overhead showers, sinks, toilets, and benches. The mobile unit’s route, which will be dynamic and informed by consultation with community stakeholders, will stop at sites such as food pantries, hospitals, and trusted service organizations. It is an expansion of Turning Point Brooklyn’s “We Care About You” shower project, which has operated out of Sunset Park for a number of years, provides users with showers as well as clean towels, shampoo, soap; shaving kits; toilet facilities; socks and underwear; access to laundry services; snacks, and a safe space to relax.

“On behalf of BCS, I would like to thank Borough President Adams for his dedication, not only to getting this exciting mobile shower initiative off the ground, but to all the work he is doing in our community to ensure everyone is served in the borough including our homeless neighbors,” said Marla Simpson, executive director at BCS.

“It has taken us years to find innovative elected officials to help us realize this dream of a mobile shower service for vulnerable populations, and we found that in Borough President Adams,” said Tata Traore-Rogers, executive director at Turning Point Brooklyn. “We had a stationary shower project for many years servicing homeless individuals, migrant workers, runaway and homeless youth, transgender sex workers, and others in Sunset Park. I’m so proud that now we can expand this community benefit across the borough.”

“As a formerly homeless person, I’m so proud to be part of an organization that is helping people find a place to clean themselves and relax in a safe and affirming environment,” said Johnny Merizalde, coordinator at Turning Point Brooklyn. “This mobile shower service will undoubtedly make life better for many who are struggling and I’m excited to see this project to fruition.”

“When we care for people without basic services like showers, hygiene supplies, and clothing, we show what’s best about Brooklyn,” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca. “I thank Borough President Adams and Turning Point Brooklyn for their expansion of the mobile shower unit services that have been so successful serving Sunset Park’s most vulnerable neighbors. I have no doubt they will be a welcome addition throughout the borough.”

Last November, the Coalition for the Homeless estimated that there were more than 15,700 families in homeless shelters every night across the five boroughs. The most recent Homeless Outreach Population Estimate (HOPE) street survey, conducted by the City last February, found nearly 4,000 homeless individuals on the streets that night.