Mobile shower service aims to restore dignity to Sydney's homeless population

Tom Sacre

As winter creeps in and the nights get colder, Sydney’s homeless population is sleeping rough and struggling to stay warm on the streets of the city.

Up to 500 people brave the cold in Central Sydney and now they’ll be able to enjoy something we take for granted – a hot shower.

One of the state’s old public buses has been transformed into the city’s first-ever mobile shower service in an initiative by charity ‘One Voice’ and the State Government.

The mobile shower bus made its first stop in Sydney city. Photo: 7 News

Johnny Turanga is just one of over 105,000 homeless people in Australia.

He was the first to try out the mobile showers and said it was a winner.

"It's a glorious feeling - just nice and warm,” he told 7 News.

Another happy customer said a simple shower could make all the difference to a person’s confidence.

Johnny Turanga was the first to use the new service and described it as
Another happy customer said the service helped to boost her confidence. Photo: 7 News

"A hot shower makes us feel like we can sit next to someone to go for a job, we can ask for accommodation,” she said.

The government contributed $60,000 to the bus, which carries enough water for 40 hot showers per day.

There are also plans for more buses in the future.

Family and Community Services Minister Brad Hazzard said each person is allowed 15 minutes of privacy and hot water and confirms there are plans for more buses in the future.

"We're looking at all sorts of options going into the future and hopefully this service will make it very clear to people who are homeless that we're there for them,” he said.

Brad Hazzard said the government contributed $60,000 towards the initiative. Photo: 7 News

In the last decade there has been a 20 per cent increase in the number of people living on our streets.

One Voice founder Josh Wilkins said the charity realises ending homelessness is a huge task, but for now they just want to make a difference.

"No we're not going to end homelessness. And it won't happen through a mobile shower service but at the moment it can restore some dignity and give people the chance to feel good."

News break – June 30