Live Fresh mobile shower, personal hygiene facility restores dignity to homeless community
RIVIERA BEACH, Fl. (CBS12)-- Chris Bentley and Carlos Miller are the co-founders of Live Fresh Palm Beach County, a mobile shower and personal hygiene facility that is helping to restore dignity, build self- esteem and offer a brighter future for those who need it most. It provides portable showers, toilets and changing rooms to the homeless, along with basic toiletries.
Bentley is the acting CEO. "I grew up with a family of philanthropists helping children and youth development". The Live Fresh idea came from his & Miller's travels and witnessing of homelessness in New York and Los Angeles. His desire to help led him to co-found Live Fresh, a Palm Beach County-based charity.
"One of the things that resonates with me and this program is the ability to see that huge transformation and the impact made instantly. I think it's an important step in humanizing the homeless condition."
Partnering with other charities and agencies like St. George Episcopal Church in Riviera Beach, they are able to assist clients who are already receiving a meal at a homeless center.
"This alleviates the concerns of residents NIMBY (Not - In - My - BackYard) says Bentley. With a portable location, a Live Fresh shower truck moves wherever needed and eases all concerns, he said.
“We have a 29-foot trailer equipped with 6 individual restrooms each restroom has its own shower, commode, sink and changing area. We give them a toiletry bag as well as a wash cloth and towel. We wanted to give them a dignified way to do what they need to do as it relates to personal hygiene.”
They are on a mobile mission to make a difference by restoring dignity to homeless individuals, families and children.
“Cleanliness we look at a fundamental human need. And look at it as a basic human right not a luxury.”
Grateful for outpouring of community support, they recently received a big grant from Impact Palm Beach.
“We are so thankful, they opened their hearts up and offered us $100,000 funding by way of a grant. Since then, we hit the ground running, meeting as many people as we can, offering our services and providing a FRESH start at every stop we make.”
Live Fresh PBC is helping building self-esteem, helping them gain employment and the opportunity for a brighter future. The response from the lives changed have been overwhelming and touching.
“One of the people said he felt as if it was raindrops from heaven. So to hear those types of remarks, there's no material thing that can replace how you feel when you're able to give someone that type of hope and dignity. When you’re able to see the gracious faces and the impact were making it is priceless for us.”
He is hopeful that the community will continue to open their hearts.
"I would encourage everyone to give back, get involved and do everything you can to show that you care."
MORE ON LIVE FRESH PALM BEACH COUNTY
Together, Let's Restore Dignity. Help Us Help Them
A little support can make a big impact. They always welcome volunteers, donations, supplies. Click HERE to view & help with their wish list.
Donate on their official Go Fund Me page: www.gofundme.com/restoredignity. The are currently seeking assistance to expand and secure a wheel-chair ADA facility along with a new FORD truck to haul the trailer.
"The shower felt great" is what the first person to use our mobile shower and personal hygiene facility said as he exited with gleam.? Our aim is to provide Palm Beach County’s homeless individuals and families with a fresh shower, personal hygiene essentials and the opportunity to Live FRESH: Feeling Revitalized Encourages Sustainable Happiness
Now thanks to our innovative new Mobile Shower and Personal Hygiene Facility (or shower truck), the county’s homeless population has the opportunity to wash and manage their personal hygiene – and that opens up possibilities for building self-esteem, gaining employment and exploring a brighter future.
The truck’s co-founders, Carlos Miller and Chris Bentley, were looking to identify a project where they could make a real difference. Data from 2015 shows that during any given 24-hour period, 1,421 individuals and families in the county are homeless.
So Why Showers?
“For us, that’s where dignity and self-respect starts…with the ability to stay clean and be presentable,” explains Chris Bentley. “Because the homeless population can be hard to reach, we knew we would have to come to them and make ourselves available in areas they could easily reach.” Our website at www.livefreshpbc.com allows supporters to make donations, no matter how small, and we can be reached via Facebook to arrange the donation of goods like clothing and toiletries.
When innovation meets philanthropy it ought to be celebrated and supported. Live FRESH puts smiles on the faces of people whose lives often give them very little to smile about.
Live Fresh Palm Beach County is An Initiative of The Safe Haven Community Resource Center, Inc, which is a GuideStar Exchange Gold Participant.
- • Impact The Palm Beaches
- • The Quantum Foundation
- • The Law Offices of Charles Hooker & Associates
- • 1st Liberty Insurance
- • Mayor Thomas Masters & The City of Riviera Beach
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