Detroit’s car-centric infrastructure has long impeded its citizens without adequate transportation or housing from accessing the resources they need. From the lack of public restrooms to healthcare disparities in underserved communities, citizens are not able to get to brick-and-mortar facilities like they used to.

That’s when two Detroit organizations started to change how they looked at the problem. If people can’t get to them, then they’ll meet people where they are. 

The WAVE Project, short for Welcoming All Valuing Everyone, is addressing the needs of the homeless community by providing mobile closets, hygiene kits, and showers. Through mobile shower vans, the WAVE Project now travels to communities across metro Detroit to offer their services to those who need them without being tied down to a single location. 

WAVE Project shower van

The WAVE Project offers mobile shower vans to people without access to a shower or other hygiene products. | Photo by One Detroit

The benefits of mobile outreach vans proved useful in the healthcare industry too, and Wayne State University’s School of Medicine quickly jumped on board. The university’s Wayne Health Mobile Units are bringing health screenings, vaccines and preventative care to communities with health disparities.

One Detroit’s Rose LaForest sat down with WAVE Project Co-Founders Todd and Laura Gordon, as well as a handful of people involved with the Wayne Health Mobile Unit program to learn more about the services they both provide.

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