‘A person’s dignity is the most important thing you can return to them’

Drew Broderick felt like he hit rock bottom, he has just lost his own business to the recession. He was forced out of his home because he couldn’t afford to pay for it. He is now living on the streets trying to get food to eat, get a few bucks to make the day go by. He didn’t realize until it actually hit him, an itchy scalp on his head and days of grit and grit on him. Drew was desperate for a shower, he didn’t realize how badly he had wanted to shower, he tried going into gas stations to wash up. Trying to clean as much of himself as he could from the sink. On several occasions managers of the gas stations would come in pursuit of him and knock on the door to get him out of the restroom.

But his worst moments taught Drew a valuable lesson, he learnt about all the things that people take for granted. That people don’t realize how privileged they are to be able to take a shower in peace. But he didn’t just want to come away from this ordeal with a life lesson. He knew the pains of being homeless, of fighting for survival each day of your life. But he also knew that what he lost the most was his dignity. He understood what it felt like to feel like you are at the bottom and in all those times he knew that he wanted help.

“You go to the gas station trying to wash up in the sinks and the managers are knocking on the door yelling at you and cussing at you because they know what you’re doing in there,” Broderick says.

‘You don’t know what you’ve got, until it’s gone’

Being able to take a shower seems so routine that you forget just how much of a Privilege it is when you are on the streets. From his construction company all he had left was an unused Mobile truck. Broderick had an idea. He designed a climate controlled mobile shower unit for homeless people living in his city. And everyday Drew went around in his mobile shower helping homeless people take a shower for free. “They come out of there looking like a million bucks, giving me big hugs and crying. It’s been a beautiful experience.” I want them to have a place to clean up, ‘so they can look for work, keep the job they have or just face their peers without shame.’ Drew said.

What Drew is doing has been changing the lives of many people, they are able to get their confidence back and go to Job interviews trying to get a Job. which wouldn’t have been possible without Drew, although it is only in a small community the impact has been massive. Those few people whose lives were changed by this mobile shower have Thanked Broderick a bunch. It is such a different gesture, something that no one would give a mind to except the people that actually suffer from it. Broderick was in that position and he knows what it feels like.

To get that shower to feel clean again, to feel like you won’t be Judged, that you will be part of the community again, the feeling is indescribable. It gives some people their dignity back, it makes them feel empowered again. To be able to look like themselves again, clean. Knowing that they are gonna look at themselves in a mirror and smile at what they see looking back at them. Drew Broderick is truly a wholesome human being.


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