Orange County Government Public Information Officer
Clean the World in Partnership with Orange County Government Expands its Fresh Start WASH & Wellness Program to Orange County
Providing Central Florida’s Homeless Community with Showers, Mobile COVID-19 Testing, Vaccinations
The Fresh Start WASH & Wellness Program brings health and hygiene to unsheltered population to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and combat homelessness
Orange County, Fla. — Clean the World, a global leader in water, sanitation, hygiene and sustainability, has partnered with Orange County Government to launch its Fresh Start WASH & Wellness Program to support the unsheltered community throughout Orange County The program focuses on stemming the spread of COVID-19 while offering illness prevention services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness across Central Florida. Through strategic partnerships with community service providers and host sites, Clean the World will combine the use of mobile showers with WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) education, and Wellness (COVID-19 testing, HEP A / HEP C vaccinations, and illness prevention) services. The Fresh Start WASH & Wellness Program will be the driving force towards a successful transition to housing, treatment, and job placement services for this underserved community.
Access to clean water, soap, and washing facilities reduces the risk of infection and illness from within the homeless population, as well as the spread of viruses like COVID-19 to the community at large. In addition to daily access to ADA accommodating showers, these individuals will also be able to access additional wrap-around services at the scheduled host sites including free mental health or substance abuse assessment, food assistance, help getting identification, clean clothes, healthcare, veterinary care for animals, job placement training, and housing assistance. The Fresh Start WASH & Wellness program in Las Vegas saw a decrease homelessness by up to 35% when hygiene and wellness services were offered to the community. The program aims to transition members of this community to permanent housing and, ultimately, self-sufficiency.
In 2017, Clean the World launched its first Fresh Start WASH & Wellness Program in Las Vegas, Nevada. Over the past three years, the program has delivered over 16,000 showers, distributed over 20,000 hygiene kits and has seen a 15% decrease in the rate of homelessness in the Southern Nevada area. Through this program, partner service providers have seen an increase of over 55% in referrals on the days that the mobile showers are scheduled.
Over the past two years, Clean the World has been working with Donna Wyche, Division Manager, Mental Health and Homelessness, Community and Family Services Department, Orange County Government to bring this program to Orange County. Orange County Government, through the federal CARES grant, provided the funding needed to fabricate the Fresh Start Mobile Showers and has been a significant partner in launching this program across the greater Orange County area.
Donna Wyche says of the expansion, “We’re so pleased to partner with Clean the World on this project. It’s been something we’ve discussed for a couple of years, and now due to some additional federal funding to address the Covid19 pandemic, it’s come to fruition. There are so many community partners who will be a part of this mobile unit, whose relationships and hard work will lead us to some positive outcomes for our most vulnerable homeless population”.
“Expanding the Fresh Start WASH & Wellness Program into Orange County means connecting the vulnerable population to critical hygiene and wellness services that will offer a comprehensive approach to both physical and mental health. We cannot do our amazing work without our service partners. Together, we will serve the unsheltered population by providing over 20 additional services to ultimately help them get back on their feet and into housing. Ultimately, it is about supporting this community with the resources needed to transition out of their situation and making them healthier and more confident in the process,” says Shawn Seipler, Founder & CEO, Clean the World.
You can make a difference in your local community. Clean the World is looking for sponsors to help cover the operations of the Fresh Start WASH and Wellness Program. Businesses that want to get involved, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or visit: https://cleantheworldfoundation.org/freshstart/
About Clean the World
Clean the World is a social enterprise dedicated to WASH (water, sanitization, and hygiene) and sustainability. It operates soap recycling centers and offices in Orlando, Montreal, Las Vegas, Hong Kong, Netherlands, Washington DC and Punta Cana and leads a “Global Hygiene Revolution” to distribute recycled soap and hygiene products from more than 8,000 hotel, resort and cruise partners. Clean the World’s foundation provides WASH (water, sanitization, and hygiene) programming to benefit global communities with high pre-adolescent death rates due to acute respiratory infection (pneumonia) and diarrheal diseases (cholera) – which are two of the top killers of children under the age of five. Since 2009, the foundation has served over 15 million individuals and distributed 60 million bars of soap and 5 million hygiene kits in 127 countries. For more information on how you can participate in Clean the World’s world-renowned recycling program, please visit https://cleantheworld.org/get-involved/hotel-recycling-program/
About Orange County Government: Orange County Government strives to serve its residents and guests with integrity, honesty, fairness and professionalism. Located in Central Florida, Orange County includes 13 municipalities and is home to world-famous theme parks, one of the nation’s largest convention centers and a thriving life science research park. Seven elected members make up the Board of County Commissioners, including the Mayor, who is elected countywide. For more information, please visit www.OCFL.net or go to Orange County Government’s social media channels.