An experimental device of mobile showers imagined by the Bubble Box association has been installed on the Place des Quinconces in Bordeaux, in conjunction with the Red Cross and the town hall.
The reception of the wandering public will be done four mornings per week at Quinconces initially and in other places, yet to be determined, thereafter.
The Red Cross shower truck, whose construction was delayed by the health crisis, will be ready this fall and will complete the offer of public showers for vulnerable groups.
"Information like this will spread very quickly in the street," said Aimeric Enard, president of the French Red Cross in Bordeaux. "It's precious, we've been waiting for this tool for years," confirms Benoît, a volunteer with the Red Cross and used to marauding. Bordeaux is the first city in France to test an experimental device for mobile showers, developed by the Bubble Box association. In a container that has reached the end of its life and bought back at the port of Lyon, the association has installed three shower stalls intended for a homeless or poorly housed public. It was inaugurated on Monday and will remain on the Place des Quinconces for several months, before being deployed on other sites yet to be determined, for a total period of one year.
A few dozen meters from the Ferris wheel installed on the Place des Quinconces, a small white container has been installed and accommodates three brand new showers.
“Deploying a module like the Bubble Box at Quinconces, an iconic city square, is a courageous decision that refuses to make the lack of access to hygiene invisible, which is a problem for individual and public health,” says to highlight Pierre Noro, co-founder and president of BubbleBoxProject.
The idea was born four years ago in the minds of a few students of which he was a part and its development was accelerated six months ago thanks to the social innovation incubator 21 of the French Red Cross.
Erase a feeling of shame
The showers will be accessible four mornings a week from 9:30 am to 11:30 am, reception being provided by the Red Cross. “They explain to us that they are ashamed to go to a job interview, or to CCAS or Social Security because they do not feel clean, because they are not clean. By allowing them to take a shower, we erase this feeling of shame and strengthen their self-confidence and therefore their dignity, ”said Aimeric Enard. It is also an opportunity to make a first contact with a wandering public to guide them towards social structures. The maintenance of the room is carried out by a person in integration, made available by the city and the association ARE 33. Covid obliges, a cleaning will be carried out after each cycle of showers.Shower water is 90% recycled to be reused and limit water consumption.
About twenty showers already exist in Bordeaux but they are not public, they depend on associative structures, sometimes specialized. "The public, depending on their situation, are not always comfortable going to a particular day stopover, this module offers a more external and anonymous aspect", argues Harmonie Lecerf, deputy mayor in charge of access to rights and solidarity. The mayor of Bordeaux inaugurated the device, recalling that the rehabilitation of public fountains had taken place at the start of his mandate and that work to promote access to drinking water in camps and slums was in progress. course with the support of the NGO Solidarités internationales.
The other project, led by the Red Cross, of mobile showers installed in a truck and called Soli'douches, is behind schedule but should complete the Bubble Box system this fall.
The Bubble Box association intends to learn how to use the module to improve it because it intends to manufacture others.
And it is also launching an appeal to recover containers at the end of their maritime life.
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