New mobile hygiene bus ready to provide services to the homeless across Central Illinois

Local News

PEORIA, Il (WMBD) — A new mobile hygiene unit is giving people across Central Illinois access to showers, bathrooms, and laundry. It’s called HOWIE.

“It means hygiene on wheels independence empowered,” said Heart of Illinois United Way President Jennifer Zammuto.

Phoenix Community Development and The Heart of Illinois United Way collaborated and adapted to meet the needs of homelessness in Central Illinois.

“The ability to get where people are is critical. We can’t just expect people to come to us,” said Zammuto.

The CEO of Phoenix Community Development has worked on homelessness in Peoria for more than 17 years. Services aside, she said the goal is to connect with individuals who are traditionally harder to connect with.

“[For] folks who might have been reluctant to engage with services with us before, this could be a good draw, you know. So, it’s just another tool to hopefully engage people into services that end their homelessness,” said Phoenix Community Development CEO Christine Kahl.

Everything is at no cost to the user. HOWIE features two showers, two bathrooms, and two laundry units. The mobile service will also provide bags of toiletries and towels for those that need it.

As of right now, they are working to finalize specific spots that would benefit people most.

HOWIE will hit the streets on Tuesday, April 20. The first stop is along the riverfront at Southwest Adams near Harrison.

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