SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio District 1 Councilman Roberto Trevino thinks taxpayers can offer the gift of dignity and compassion to the homeless community.
He is asking the City Council to explore and approve the purchase of a mobile shower truck or trailer early next year.
“A simple shower means a lot to people who can’t have one regularly,” Trevino said. “What we are trying to fine tune is how many times will we use it? What trailer exactly are we buying? All these details are being worked out.”
City staff members are also trying to figure out the cost to operate the vehicle, which itself comes at a cost of between $50,000 and $75,000.
Trevino is asking that all 10 districts and the mayor contribute to the purchase through the City Council Project Fund. Each district gets $50,000 in discretionary funds for free events or programs in the community.
“The caveat is that is has to be for the public and it has to be free,” he said.
Each district would get a chance to use it at their own discretion. He thinks it can even be used during a disaster or community emergency.
“We recently had an entire neighborhood that was out of water. We could have deployed it to this area,” Trevino said, adding that there was a need for showers following the tornado that struck his own neighborhood a few years ago.
Trevino said private partners have stepped up to offer help with the efforts.
Haven for Hope staff members said they provide showers to more than 1,700 people on their 22-acre campus. CEO Kenny Wilson said being clean is at the root of being humane.
“To get clean is a privilege for some. For some, it’s an infrequent privilege,” Wilson said.
Wilson still hasn’t had a chance to sit down and hear all the details of the plan, but he thinks any tool to reach people and inform them about Haven for Hope services on campus is a good thing.
“We're always open to ideas to help get people off the streets and into safety, which is what we provide here,” Wilson said.
Trevino said more details will be presented before the City Council after the holiday break. He said he wants the project to move along quickly. His attempt to get this approved though the annual budget failed, but he thinks the purchase plan has a better chance of making it through.