Opinion

Mel Trotter Ministries’ new mobile showers: A good idea?

Photo by Harrison Haines on Pexels.com

Story by Emmie Estes, Reporter

Photo courtesy of Pexels.com

Mel Trotter Ministries, a homeless shelter in downtown Grand Rapids, has recently introduced mobile showers so the homeless in downtown don’t have to come directly to the shelter to use the shower facilities. The showers will be sanitized after every use, which will help the spread of COVID-19.  The showers are run by a generator, and consist of three stalls each.

Teams of people will accompany the mobile showers to provide clothes, food, water, and medical care. The idea seems nice in theory. People won’t have to go in the shelter to get a shower and the showers will come to you. As many people know, Mel Trotter is based in an extremely old building downtown. The maintenance repairs are constant and the heater breaks often during the winter. The mobile showers are very expensive and would cost several thousand dollars that could be spent on repairs to the building.

During a pandemic, it’s a smart idea to have less traffic in the building to keep the building residents safe. Less people going in and out of the building reduces the risk of COVID-19 spreading to residents and Mel Trotter employees and volunteers.

Here’s the question: Are these mobile showers a smart idea? Yes and no. During a pandemic, mobile showers could help Mel Trotter Ministries serve the homeless while practicing social distancing. However, these mobile showers cost them quite a bit of money that could’ve been spent on repairing their headquarters.

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