Two comrades and friends since middle school have banded together with a plan to help the homeless.
Florida natives Chris Bentley and Carlos Miller began a non-profit called, “Live Fresh Palm Beach County.” Bentley and Miller converted a 29.5-foot trailer into an air-conditioned mobile shower and personal hygiene facility. The trailer has a total of six private wash rooms and makes three weekly stops in the Palm Beach area.
The two men launched their non-profit on March 31, with a $100,000 grant from Impact the Palm Beaches and $7,500 from the Quantum Foundation. Since the spring, Live Fresh Palm Beach County has serviced over 250 people.
Bentley says he hopes to offer a sense of privacy and dignity to those less fortunate.
“For us, that’s where dignity and self-respect starts … with the ability to stay clean and be presentable,” he told PalmBeachPost.com. “Cleanliness is a fundamental need. We actually see it as basic human right and because the homeless population can be hard to reach, we knew we would have to come to them and make ourselves available in areas they could easily reach.”
Miller says he saw a need after interacting with homeless people in the area.
“To see a human being, living in the United States of all countries, walk inside a store with apprehension over being shunned or offensive to the atmosphere due to their odor or disheveled state grabbed at the core of my heart,” he wrote on the group’s website.
Live Fresh Palm Beach County travels to local faith-based groups and non-profits that assist the homeless with preventative care, food, and clothing.
Participants receive a care package, including deodorant, soap, towels, toothbrush, toothpaste, and various other toiletries.
Once a month, Genesis Community Health Center, a faith-based local clinic, provides health screenings to participants, including HIV counseling and testing, health screenings, and referral services.
Bentley and Miller plan to expand their reach to other areas of Palm Beach County in the coming months.
SOURCE: PalmBeachPost.com, YouTube | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty, Twitter