MIDDLEBURY, Ind. — Two northern Indiana companies are collaborating with a New Jersey city to turn old school buses into laundry and shower facilities for homeless women.
Infinity Trailers in Elkhart and Diamond Trailers & Specialty Vehicles in Middlebury are revamping two school buses purchased from Joliet, Illinois, into mobile shower and laundry vehicles. Each bus has two showers, a washer, dryer and couches and can house about eight people at a time.
Work on the retooled buses is expected to be completed soon before they’re shipped to Jersey City, New Jersey, at the end of March. They’ll be placed in service throughout the East Coast city, said Bob Earley, Diamond Trailers’ director of sales and marketing.
Stacy Flanagan, who’s Jersey City’s director of Health & Human Services, reached out to Infinity Trailers and Diamond Trailers & Specialty Vehicles for the project after noticing an increased number of homeless women living in unsanitary conditions in Jersey City. She decided to do something to improve their lives by creating buses they could shower and do their laundry in.
“They’ll be able to leave the bus refreshed and proud of who they are,” Earley said. “It will have some semblance of the comforts of home.”
While the company for now is only providing buses for Jersey City, he said he wouldn’t be surprised if other cities decide to pursue the idea.