NEWS: Temporary shower facilities installed at Homeless Services Center
Temporary shower facilities installed at Homeless Services Center in response to building deterioration
Nearly 200,000 showers have been provided to people experiencing homelessness since the Homeless Services Center facility opened in 2006
SANTA CRUZ, CA (Aug. 8, 2019) — Homeless Services Center (HSC), a leader in creating pathways out of homelessness and into permanent housing, today announced it is installing a temporary shower and restroom facility, or “hygiene bay,” because the existing hygiene bay has exceeded its useful life and requires a full renovation before a permanent reopening is possible. The current facility will close Friday, August 16.
The move to a temporary facility will impact residents of the 40-bed Paul Lee Loft emergency shelter, where the existing hygiene bay is located. Members of the public who have had access to the existing hygiene bay may also be impacted by new reduced hours of availability.
The hygiene bay, which opened in 2006, provides showers and toilets and has operated 7 days a week. With approximately 100 people utilizing the showers daily, the showers are among the most heavily utilized public showers in the county.
“The ability to offer showers and restrooms for residents of the Paul Lee Loft and members of the public is critical in terms of public health, as well as dignity and respect for those who are on a path out of homelessness and into permanent housing,” said Phil Kramer, executive director of Homeless Services Center.
HSC has provided more than 15,000 showers annually over the last 13 years. HSC, which leases the Paul Lee Loft building from the City of Santa Cruz, takes the lead role on maintaining the hygiene bay. Housing Matters determined that closure of the facility is necessary following years of routine maintenance, as well as major repairs conducted over the last five years that were needed to stay operational. The necessary overhaul of the facility is estimated between $500,000 and $1 million.
“We view the addition of the temporary showers as an unsustainable, stop-gap measure as we work with our local partners to identify new funding sources,” said Kramer. “In the meantime, closing the showers and restrooms is the safest possible response to the deteriorated condition of the facility.”
Alternative locations of public showers for those experiencing homelessness can be found in the Santa Cruz Free Guide, at www.santacruzfreeguide.org, or by calling Homeless Services Center at (831) 458-6020.
About Homeless Services Center
Homeless Services Center partners with individuals and families to create pathways out of their homelessness into permanent housing. Learn more at www.santacruzhsc.org or on Facebook.
New public showers and restroom hours
The temporary shower and restroom facilities will be open to the public from 10-2, seven days a week, effective Friday, August 16. Homeless Services Center is absolutely committed to providing this important resource to the community, including Loft participants and our day services clients, in whatever capacity we can; these temporary facilities are more costly than the hygiene bay, and we are working with community partners to help with funding.