TESTIMONIAL. “W e have created a mobile shower for homeless women only”

Every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., homeless or poorly housed women in Toulouse are invited to the 100% female shower truck parked on Place Lange. There, a team of volunteers from the Le Camion Douche association awaits them to offer them an intimate break in comfort and hygiene. “We are only at the beginning, says Héloïse Brière, who founded the association in 2014 with her father, Jérôme. For the moment, two women at most take a shower on Saturdays and half a dozen request our kits. hygiene. ”

Six years after launching the first mixed-use shower truck, the one who says she “loves helping since she was little” created, last month, a device specifically reserved for women. “After a field survey, we realized that we were not good with regard to access to women,” explains this convinced feminist, who saw the number of her regulars decrease year after year. “Men arriving at thirty or forty, they lacked privacy,” she finally understood.

Héloïse was inspired by her grandmother’s associative commitment to Secours Populaire

Now everything has changed. A team of volunteers made up entirely of women is responsible for the reception and kits for their specific needs are offered. “In addition to access to the shower, they are offered beauty products and hygienic protections,” explains the 30-something, accompanied by her sister Charlotte, who has invested herself as the driver of this women’s truck.

A solidarity initiative which is part of the continuity of her fight started in 2014. While walking in the streets of the city that they have been walking for many years, this former administrative agent and her father were the unfortunate witnesses of a growing poverty. “A lot of people are doing the sleeve”, still laments the young mother, years after having drawn up the bitter observation. Inspired by her grandmother’s associative commitment to Secours populaire, Héloïse, supported by her father, decides to act.

“Taking a shower allows you to regain confidence and, perhaps, to go clean for an interview”

“One day, I heard about a mobile shower in Paris. It was the trigger, remembers the one who sees its action as a factor of social reintegration. Taking a shower helps to put a foot in our society, to regain confidence and, perhaps, go clean for an interview. ” A survey listing Toulouse’s municipal showers and the needs of homeless people later, Héloïse is convinced: a mobile shower meets an urgent need.

“Service mobility allows the street world to access hygiene more easily,” she explains. An analysis that has since been verified. Last year, the volunteers of the association recorded 727 passages in the mixed shower truck. Héloïse and her sister Charlotte now hope to offer the same opportunity to the 1,400 homeless women who currently roam the cobbled streets of the pink city.

Héloïse Brière ©

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