Thundermist Brings Basic Hygiene to Underserved in Woonsocket
(Woonsocket – February 17, 2022) – Thundermist Health Center ensures people experiencing homelessness in the City of Woonsocket have access to basic personal hygiene. A partnership with House of Hope brings a mobile shower unit to the health center each week. People experiencing homelessness have access to free warm showers, haircuts, medical care, and social services.
The Shower to Empower mobile unit is focused on both hygiene and medical services for people experiencing homelessness who are reluctant to access shelters or health care services. Each mobile unit can accommodate up to 30 showers per day. Since the program began in December 2021, more than 50 people have had access to the service.
“Transportation is a barrier for people experiencing homelessness. The mobile unit comes directly to Thundermist – a trusted place for the community,” said Jennifer Pace, manager of integrated care management. ”Those experiencing homelessness also have barriers to health care and behavioral health care. Our case management team is available on site to assist patients with specific needs and help them access the appropriate resources.”
Shower to Empower is about more than a warm shower. It’s an opportunity for the Thundermist care team to connect with the homeless community. Gabriel Pleasants, MD attends each week to provide medical care. In addition, Thundermist Health Center’s case management team is onsite to offer case management, community resources, behavioral health services, and more. Thundermist’s Vaccine Peer Navigators also play a role in talking to folks about getting vaccinated against COVID-19 and handing out informative information on the vaccine and how to stay safe.
“Thundermist cares for more than 1,000 patients each year who are experiencing homelessness,” said Dr. Pleasants, family medicine provider. “Thundermist aims to meet the unique needs of each patient and help them to overcome barriers to care. This program is an important step in connecting the homeless community to regular care and services.”
The Shower to Empower mobile unit is a customized 20’ x 8.3’ trailer that includes two individual showers, heated floors, an area for case management, and an enclosed private medical space.