Hygiene Trailers Hit 40,000 Mark

40,000-That’s how many showers have been taken at the hygiene (shower) trailers Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) deployed in late May 2020, soon after the pandemic began.  

For perspective-a packed house watching the Mariners at T-Mobile park is about 40,000 so that’s a lot of showers! 

 

Chris, an employee of nonprofit Uplift Northwest who helps keep the showers clean and ensures guests have what they need for showering, sees the need first hand. “Everyone needs warm water. It is basic and fundamental to human beings.” 

In March 2020, when COVID-19 accelerated the need for thorough handwashing and good hygiene, SPU staff worked with urgency to secure shower trailers for some of our most vulnerable neighbors. Once the two trailers arrived from Southern California, staff quickly deployed them at King Street Station and Seattle Center, high-need locations that are convenient and accessible for guests. 

The hygiene trailers, which each contain four shower, toilet and sink units (one wheelchair accessible), augment the number of hygiene resources for unhoused people, including portable toilets and sinks deployed at 12 sites in Spring 2020, as well as permanent restroom facilities at community centers, libraries, day centers, and other City buildings. As of October 15, there are more than 250 public restrooms located across Seattle, including approximately 70 that are open 24/7. Guests can also access showers at several community centers. During the same approximate time period, Seattle Parks and Recreation provided an estimated 5,998 showers at community center locations. The City’s hygiene map, which is updated frequently, shows all locations that are open. 

While one of the hygiene trailers continues to serve guests at King Street Station, our second trailer has temporarily moved to University Heights to meet the needs of guests in the area, like Clay. “As long as mankind continue to thrive on this planet, showers will be part of our nature.” 

SPU is proud to partner with Uplift Northwest to manage the hygiene trailers and meet the needs of our unhoused neighbors with dignity and respect. We look forward to many more (stadium-sized) showers!