FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – It was a big day for the Poverello House as a new facility with showers and a laundry room was opened up.
It’s the latest in the effort to help people experiencing homelessness in the Central Valley.
“A hot shower and clean clothes is a big part of someone feeling that value and worth,” said Zach Darrah, CEO of Poverello House.
Laundries, showers, and restrooms will now be available at the facility for those who need them the most. The facility on F Street comes after more than three decades and a $500,000 investment, funded through private contributions.
“When this facility was built about 30 years ago it just wasn’t suited for the type of use it has today. Having a facility like this that meets the needs of our community is a great deal to anyone that’s experiencing homelessness in our community” Darrah said.
The previous facility accommodated more than 40,000 showers and nearly 9,000 loads of laundry over the course of a year. The new features are said to provide 10,000 additional showers that are special needs friendly. The laundry units will quadruple in capacity and will be accessible 24 hours a day.
Before the pandemic, officials say the City of Fresno had no public restrooms. Councilman Miguel Arias says hygiene and basic human needs were a big topic in their regular town halls.
“They wanted to feel dignified and just a basic dignity to be able to take a shower, put on fresh clothes to a job interview is going to be a huge changer to get an actual job and permanent housing,” Arias said.
Anyone can stop by the facility to clean up. In addition to this grand opening, at the end of the month, they’ll be receiving mobile showers and restrooms. Those will be placed around the city as another push to help our unhoused community.