Scrub-a-dub-dub! The Chandler Clean Machine is up and running to accommodate the homeless in providing showers and a washer and dryer to help them get back on their feet in the thriving economy.
McCarthy Building Companies partnered with the City of Chandler, For Our City, Chandler Fire, Health and Medical Department, and the Interfaith Homeless Emergency Lodging Program (I-HELP), along with several other agencies, to convert an old hazmat trailer into a mobile unit containing three showers and a washer and dryer for use by I-HELP.
“[The shower trailer] means a dream come true. We see on a daily basis some of Chandler’s most vulnerable individuals. We’re working at helping people make sure they can stay on top of things, so they are not seen as less and are seen for who they are and their potential,” said Lori Tapia, Family Resource Center director at Chandler Christian Community Center and I-HELP. “Making sure the hygiene issue doesn’t come between them and the next steps in their life and meeting their goals.”
I-HELP aids homeless men and women starting at an intake process at Chandler Christian Community Center. A shuttle will then take the guests to a host site where they can enjoy a warm meal and have the option in bathing, haircuts, shaves, showering, laundering their clothes, and other incentives, according to Tapia.
McCarthy Building Companies “jumped at the opportunity” to make I-HELP’s vision a reality as they designed a multi-functional hygiene facility for the homeless in Chandler, according to Dan Ward, project manager at McCarthy Building Companies. The trailer consists of three showers, one shower with wheelchair accessibility, and a washer and dryer. The trailer was renovated in three months and became open to the public on Oct. 16.
“I think it was really important for our team to understand what this [shower trailer] was going towards. When the overall message is clear on what we are doing, who we are doing it for, how it is going to be used, and who is going to benefit, I think the whole team rallied behind getting this done,” Ward said.
A challenge McCarthy Building Companies faced was finding a resourceful solution in how to generate enough power to have all appliances being able to operate at once. To manage power in the trailer, 8-feet by 28-feet, McCarthy Building Companies installed point of use shower heads that only draw enough power required based on how hot the guests prefer their water to be.
“The biggest challenge was making sure that we [McCarthy Building Companies] are identifying all of the power requirements. It was important to us to make sure we could utilize all three showers and the washer and dryer at the same time. We had to get creative. We didn’t want something that was going to be a big nuisance, so we tried to make all of the accessories to the trailer very simple to use.”
Bryan Pryor has been homeless for a year and a half and became a member of I-HELP two weeks ago. Pryor explains how thankful he is for I-HELP’s services, such as providing meals, clothes, and a place to stay.
“I’m 42 years old, and for all of this to happen right now is great. This is something really gracious that people, like myself, can use to our advantage as a stepping stone in life,” Pryor said.
The Chandler Clean Machine will impact the whole community of Chandler and give homeless people more of a fighting chance in the workforce.
“The Chandler Clean Machine is not only about cleanliness and hygiene. It’s cleaning up an act, cleaning up your life, and having a way to step on to the next level,” Tapia said.