Hope and dignity bus

READY: Shower bus organisers Constantine Osuchukwu, Jacinda Saunders and Faustine Angie Ng, and bus driver Mark Stewart. Picture: Dylan Burns
READY: Shower bus organisers Constantine Osuchukwu, Jacinda Saunders and Faustine Angie Ng, and bus driver Mark Stewart. Picture: Dylan Burns

With the count down now on until the taps start running, One Humanity Shower Bus is holding an open day.

Committee member Constantine Osuchukwu said the event was a chance for community members and residents of White Flat Oval to learn about how the bus will operate and ask questions. 

The shower bus aims to provide hope and dignity to the homeless of Ballarat.

“It is really about those who are our brothers and sisters in the community who are sleeping rough,” Mr Osuchukwu said. “It is an opportunity to meet with them and offer them this service, but also to direct them to other services.”

It took six months to turn the bus into a showering facility, which cost less than $10,000, and another six months for it to become operational. The bus is now just waiting for a permit from the Ballarat City Council and hopes to be operating next month. 

Mr Osuchukwu said the entire project had been a “tremendous community endeavour”.

“The committee are all volunteers and no one is paid to do anything for the shower bus, that is the beauty of the whole thing,” he said.

The bus was donated from Little’s Bus Service, while the toiletry products inside such as soaps and toothbrushes were donated by local businesses and people. There is enough in storage to last another year.

“We have over $40,000 in our bank accounts to actually operate the bus so it is really a fantastic and heartwarming story for the Ballarat community,” Mr Osuchukwu said.

The bus will run on Friday and Sunday evenings from 6pm until 9pm with four volunteers rostered on each night. Anybody is welcome to benefit from the showering services. There will also be an occasional barber. 

Mr Osuchukwu said the committee hoped it would eventually be out of business, as it did not want to see people sleeping rough in a wealthy and affluent society like Ballarat.

“We have a saying in Africa that is we are human together, one humanity,” Mr Osuchukwu said. 

“As a community we should take more responsibility for one another because when one person is flourished, all of us flourish and when one person is diminished, we all diminish.

“We belong to the same community so by giving our disadvantaged brothers and sisters hope and dignity, then all of us share in that as well.”

The open day takes place on Monday, March 20, from 5pm until 7pm at White Flat Oval, which will be the future location of the bus. For more information contact Pauline on 0400 684 466 or Constantine on 0435 750 155.