DENVER - Seemingly small changes can make a big impact for people who are experiencing homelessness.
Something as basic as having clean clothes to wear can mean a measure of dignity for men and women who might go weeks without changing their socks.
Marcus Harris know the struggle. He's now the Outreach and Laundry Truck Coordinator at Bayaud Enterprises.
"Well, I myself have experienced homelessness in five different cities in three different states, and I can remember among other things never taking my shoes and socks off for, for sometimes weeks at a time,” Harris said. “Those sorts of experiences tend to reinforce the shame that comes from society and communities, and it tends to make folks want to hide."
Bayaud is a Denver nonprofit that has turned an old document shredding truck into a laundry truck.
Harris plans to take the truck out into the community for the first time on Thursday.
It's first mission will be to provide free laundry service to the city's homeless at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church.
The truck is essentially a mobile laundromat, with six stacked commercial grade washers and dryers.
In a 7 to 8-hour period, it can do 30 to 35 loads of laundry, including sleeping bags and blankets.
Bayaud says this is a first-of-its-kind service for Colorado
“The idea of a mobile laundry that could go where people are rather than people having to come where the laundry is just resonated,” said David Henninger, Bayaud’s Executive Director. “And we were just amazed at how that was a powerful message. And we had donors that reached out."
Currently, the truck gets its water from hoses connected to spigots.
Denver Water is having a special meter made custom so the truck can eventually get water from fire hydrants.
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