'Clean Machine' mobile shower offers resources for homeless

Posted: Updated:
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- Homeless men and women in Chandler have a new resource to help them on the road to getting back on their feet.

It's called the Chandler Clean Machine, and offers mobile showers and a laundromat for the homeless to use, free of charge.

Chandlers Fire, Health & Medical Department donated a surplus hazmat trailer to For Our City Chandler. The trailer was then re-purposed into a mobile shower unit with washer and dryer for use by the Interfaith Homeless Emergency Lodging Program (I-HELP).

When McCarthy Building Companies learned of the need, they stepped up to tackle the conversion project, pro bono, outfitting the trailer with three shower stalls and a laundry facility. The value of the project is approximately $40,000.

"Studies show that one-third of homeless individuals who find employment do not make it past the probationary period due to hygiene issues," said Kevin Hartke, Chandler City Council member and Director of For Our City Chandler.

He calls the Clean Machine a game-changer for the homeless. "This mobile shower unit will help to increase self-esteem, reduce the risk of infection or illness and increase the opportunity for employment," he says.

"Many of our men and women will be able to get jobs and keep jobs and move on with the rest of their lives," he continued.

McCarthy Building Companies? Heart Hats committee will also be making a donation of toiletry items (shampoos, soaps, detergent) to kick off a supply drive for the Chandler Clean Machine. McCarthy invites community members to donate toiletry items (visit http://forourcity.org/Chandler.html for complete list of needed items), which can be dropped off through the end of the month at the Chandler Fire Administration Building, at 221 E. Boston Street in Chandler.

"At McCarthy, we love taking on challenging projects and this shower conversion project was right up our alley," said Daniel Ward, project manager at McCarthy. "We know the Chandler Clean Machine will be put to good use, and we encourage community members to make a donation to the supply drive."

McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. is the nation's 9th largest domestic general contractor (Engineering News-Record, May 2014). The firm is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2014. The McCarthy Southwest Division is based in Phoenix. McCarthy also has offices in Newport Beach, San Diego, Sacramento and San Francisco, Calif.; Las Vegas; Albuquerque; Dallas and Houston; St. Louis and Atlanta. McCarthy is 100 percent employee-owned.

About For Our City Chandler:
For Our City Chandler (www.forourcity.org) is part of the civic non-profit corporation CARE Inc., and coordinates service needs for the City and various non-profit organizations with the resources made available by churches, employers, business groups, and others in the Chandler area.

About I-HELP:
The Interfaith Homeless Emergency Lodging Program partners with local churches in Chandler and Gilbert to provide those experiencing homelessness with a warm meal, safe place to sleep at night and a path out of homelessness. For information visit: http://www.tempeaction.org