Exit 0 combating hepatitis A in the homeless population with mobile showers
Exit 0 is currently getting the shower trailer ready now that the temperature is warming.
JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) – Homeless populations are some of the most susceptible people to hepatitis A as it continues to spread through Kentuckiana. But the Exit 0 homeless outreach group is doing what it can to prevent the spread from the front lines.
“What Exit 0 has done for many years is we've listened to the needs, not the wants. This is a huge need for our community,” said Paul Stensrud, with Exit 0.
Those needs come answered on several wheels and a trailer.
“We also provide the outreach vehicle, Grace, with basic supplies for the guys that we serve on the street,” Stensrud said. “And it pulls Showers of Mercy, so when it's all connected it's Showers of Mercy and Grace.”
They couldn't come at a more necessary time.
“There's many folks that aren't permitted to go into the shelters because of their background or choices per say as well so it's important to have local showers available because we know that with our hep A outbreak, it's a lot about hygiene as well,” Stensrud said.
The homeless population is one of the groups hardest hit by the virus. Doctors encourage people to wash their hands to avoid getting or spreading it. And for people living on the streets, that isn't always possible. Stensrud is currently getting the shower trailer ready now that the temperature is warming.
“We need warm weather due to pipes freezing and everything so we will be hauling this around town providing showers and also laundry service for the homeless,” he said.
In the meantime, he's encouraging the people he serves and the volunteers to get vaccinated.
“We’re the front line ... no different than EMS or local law enforcement,” Stensrud said.
So from showers and food to other items, Exit 0 also provides faith and one more necessary item.
“We just provide as much stuff as we can and love. You know, without love, they're nothing. And many of them don't have love. So what we're trying to do is show them that love so they can get themselves out of this situation,” Stensrud said.
Outreach happens every Sunday at West Maple Baptist Church. Meals are also provided every Wednesday under the American Flag at the Big Four Station Park.
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