Teresa Renkenberger opened a shower stalls in the back of a truck. The truck was used to be a food truck; now, she has made it a shower truck.
The vehicle is known as the Shower Power Mobile Shower Unit nad now it is complete with a new paint job of blue bubbles which includes a privacy door, hot and cold water, body soap, shampoo, a sink and a mirror that are all essential for bathing.
The Flowood Realtor has begun making the unit open to those who are homeless, allowing free hot showers.
For now, she performs her weekly stop to a place in downtown Jackson on Mondays, but she expects to raise the frequency and travel to other areas.
“They are sincerely just like us, but they went down on their fate,” says 51-year-old Renkenberger. “A lot of them do not wake up and state they desire to be homeless. It gives you think it could be you or me but, by the charity of God, it is not.”
Galloway United Methodist Church’s Grace Place determines the city’s downtown sheltered homeless people to be between 800-900 people.
Renkenberger also gives towels and hygiene items when she brings her mobile shower unit to Smith Park in Jackson. She offers hugs but doesn’t pry.
Renkenberger said that she does not want to be scared of the homeless.
Showers are confined to 15 minutes if there is a line of people. Otherwise, there is no time restriction.
‘When you initially notice them, they look shy,’ Renkenberger said. When they get out of the bath, they are completely changed from when they got out of the shower.
Renkenberger recalls one remarkable man who wouldn’t make eye contact with her.
Renkenberger said that the man looked straight down and he was dirty, gloomy, and I did not get to greet him how I desired to,”
The man bathed for 40 minutes. When he got out of the shower, he was changed, she said.
Renkenberger said that the man’s eyes were bright and he was laughing. The man told her that ‘I can’t tell you how good I feel,’ holding back tears.
She said that this type of moment made her feel well and said that it was very humbling.