Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

San Francisco Wants Homeless People to Shower and Groom

Posted By on Wed, Feb 2, 2011 at 5:56 PM

click to enlarge A shower will get you farther in life than a college degree
  • A shower will get you farther in life than a college degree

Most people who live on the streets or in Portland, Ore., don't take showers -- and it's unsavory. But how can anyone expect a homeless person to find a job that pays them enough to live in an apartment if they don't lather up routinely?

San Franciscans certainly see the value in grooming, which is probably why our idea of charity is giving away old bottles of Chanel body creams.

During the month of December, we donated more than 500 pounds of soap, 300 pounds of shampoo, 600 toothbrushes, and 70 pounds of toothpaste as well as combs and deodorant -- all of which go to the city's homeless population.

The San Francisco Fire Department teamed up with a local nonprofit, Working Essentials, and put the word out that homeless people need to bathe, too -- and the message was well received.

"I can't tell you how quickly people responded," said fire department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge. "Collection bins at some fire stations were full within the first week."

Appearance and bad hygiene are among the biggest obstacles to overcoming homelessness, said Mark Melanson, spokesman for Working Essentials. And with state budget cuts crippling social services, it is becoming harder and harder for nonprofits like Working Essentials to spend money on things as basic as soap for the homeless population.

"They need a job, and we need to clean them up," Melanson said. "We need to make sure they look great."

There is a reason San Francisco has been marked the vainest city in the nation.

Follow us on Twitter at @SFWeekly and @TheSnitchSF  




  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , , ,

About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Bio:
Erin Sherbert has been Online News Editor for SF Weekly since 2010. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook

Slideshows

  • Star Wars Celebration @ Anaheim Convention Center
    Christopher Victorio brings back photos from a land not so far away of the Star Wars Celebration at the Anaheim Convention Center.
  • Fear FestEvil 2015
    Calibree Photography brings back photos from Fear FestEvil 2015 at Rockbar Theater in San Jose on Friday, April 11. Performances included freak shows, and bands: Ghoul, Orchid, and High On Fire.