Sean joined the Novato Downtown Streets Team and showed us his excellent supervisory skills so we hired him as the Assistant Manager of The Showers.
My name is Sean and I am the Assistant Manager of Marin Mobile Care The Showers. I used to work in the commercial and film industry in production and also did personal training and massage therapy, but then I got seriously injured from a 30-foot fall. I had multiple surgeries on my legs and was not able to work after that.
After my surgeries while I was healing, I went to go visit my mentor who is the director of the Safety Net Program, a drug and alcohol recovery program. While catching up with her in her office in Downtown San Rafael, I had my first introduction to Downtown Streets Team (DST). I knew a few people who were on the Team and once I was able to walk, I went to the Novato success meeting. I thought it would be a good fit for me to stay active and do something positive so I joined the squad.
When I first joined I was a yellow shirt. I liked the work, stayed busy and moved up quickly and became a green shirt, responsible for supervising a team. I liked this responsibility, but I also liked leading by example. After another month, I moved up to the blue shirt, which is like being a Captain. I supervised the green shirts. I was able to place people in positions where they would perform well.
“This is more than just a shower program, we help bring value to people’s days.”
A shower seems so simple to those who have homes, but for someone who is sleeping outside, in a shelter, or in a car, it is more than just a shower; it opens up many doors. Without being clean, people stay in, they don’t want to go out, they are wet and miserable, and at times uninspired. After a shower, people will more likely make appointments, they won’t be self-conscious to go to a job interview, and most importantly, they will feel good about themselves. It opens up doors for self-sufficiency.
“I hope that people will realize that not everyone is a drug addict, not everyone has social issues, and not everyone has mental issues and most are looking to work. I want the community to see that just because people are homeless, doesn’t mean that they don’t have or deserve a community to call their own.”
The biggest thing about the showers is that it allows people to start their day off with something positive and being a part of that, being that welcoming face, is amazing. People come to The Showers after not having a shower for days, weeks, or months and you can see it in them, they just feel brand new. It sounds so simple but for individuals experiencing homelessness, this one thing may inspire them to see more, do more. This is more than just a shower program, we help bring value to people’s days.
I’m excited to see the showers grow and see what doors this opens for people. We are getting people into showers right now, but I’m excited to see how this program will evolve and help people access other services that they need. I’m excited to take the van out and pick people up who aren’t able to take the bus and get to the showers on their own. This opens up a dialogue about volunteering with DST or finding work. A lot of people need a map to get through their day, Marin has a lot of resources but until you know how to navigate through these you are stuck.
My goal is to work in the dual diagnosis community; by helping individuals who are experiencing homelessness and suffering from mental illness and/or substance abuse. I want to stay in the field, give back and I see that Marin Mobile Care is a necessary piece, not just to end homelessness, but to positively influence many lives.