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'It's a blessing' | Showers for the homeless now available in Downtown Stockton

The Downtown Stockton Alliance purchased the trailer for anyone to use in need Monday thru Friday

STOCKTON, Calif. — Those who are experiencing homelessness in Stockton have a new way to shower and be clean. The Downtown Stockton Alliance has purchased a $65,000 mobile shower unit. The unit offers three showers, a toilet and a sink.

The trailer was purchased with Federal Community Development Block Grant money. It sits behind St. John's Episcopal Church on N. El Dorado Street.

The showers became available for those experiencing homelessness on January 19. In one month, there were 348 showers taken, according to the Downtown Stockton Alliance.

They now average over 30 showers a day.

Homeless individuals, like 54-year-old Anna Montes, call the showers "a blessing." Montes, who has lived out of her car and tent for the past six years, uses the showers every other day.

"They're clean. You know, people are really nice," says Montes. "They always have stuff just in case we don't, they always have something."

The showers are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

The people that come have stories to tell. One of them was a woman who lost her home in North Stockton after her husband died.

"Pretty much losing her husband, lost her income. And she said they lost their house and she's homeless and she never thought she would be," explained Shirley Griffith of the Downtown Stockton Alliance, who is in charge of the shower unit.

For those who use the showers it can mean more than just being clean. It's also a confidence booster and increases self-esteem.

Nick Worrell has been homeless three years and says, unlike the shelters, the wait time is much shorter here.

"You feel better about yourself. You're uplifted," said Worrell. "You go out during the day and you don't think people are looking at you because this guy smells."

Not only do the visitors get a shower, but twenty people have been connected to other services in the hopes of getting off the streets for good.

People have also donated food, like fruit, as well as socks, clothes, shoes and towels.

Montes hopes to eventually get off the streets by getting a warehouse job or anything she can to survive. "When you feel fresh and clean that's when I go to my mom's when I'm nice and clean," she said.

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