Friday, September 21, 2018

What is "radical hospitality?"

Six years ago, Doniece Sandoval realized many people sleep in the streets of San Francisco. For over 2,000 homeless people, there were only 20 shower stalls. Then she read the city was about to replace old public busses, so she bought two of them and converted them into mobile shower units.  The busses visit several areas; hook up to a fire hydrant, and nearby homeless folks take a number. When their number is called, the magic happens.

Each person receives fresh towels, toiletry products and a hygiene kit including socks, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant and razors. People who have not been able to shower for months say it completely changes their life. "People come out and sometimes they're crying, or they're ecstatic, or they hug us," says Sandoval. "We learn their names. We learn their stories, and we provide extra support. We call it radical hospitality."

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