CHAMPAIGN, III (WAND) - 93 hours. That is how long those experiencing homelessness in Champaign County go without access to a shower, every week. 
 
 
Warren Charter started the 93-hour no shower challenge. Charter says a shower is something most people take for granted. "That is something that we all should have access to," he tells WAND News.
 
 
For those experiencing homelessness, a shower is a luxury. So, Charter and other Champaign residents are taking on the challenge of going 93-hours without a shower to gain empathy for those experiencing homelessness.  

 

"The 93 hour challenge is meant to mimic what these guys are doing every weekend, where the shelter shower shuts down Fridays at 3 p.m. and it reopens Tuesday at noon."  Charter says. 

Charter says the challenge might look easy, but it's incredibly taxing. 

"You think you understand and you really don't understand until I started going through it. And what I saw with myself and the others going through it, it really just kind of took the wind out of our sails with even just doing day to day stuff.  there's something very disabling about not feeling clean as you start your day."

One person experiencing homelessness tells Charter how important showers are to move on to with their lives. "If we were able to take a shower, the attitude would change, atmosphere in shelter would change, the whole situation would take a 45/90 degree turn.”

Charter says shower make people more "acceptable" and allowed into more businesses where they can be welcomed, potentially, even find employment. Shelter showers are closed for the 93 hours during the weekend because of staffing issues, but Charter says he is working together with CU at Home to change that.  

"They always seem to step up and answer the needs, and I do have a lot of respect for the work that the local shelter does. We keep pushing to try to make that happen sooner than later and we're all on the same page, trying to do the best for these guys." Charter says.

Charter has a GoFundme set up to raise money to bring showers to those experiencing homelessness. He's hoping they reach their goal to buy a "Shower on Wheels." 

"We're going to be buying a trailer, and an actual portable hot water shower unit, installing that on the trailer with water tanks storage for clean towels and stuff, and actually taking this to the guys on the street, meeting them at their level." Charter says. 

Charter hopes to drive around Champaign County and bring showers to those who need it most. 

 

 

 

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