PALM BAY, Fla. – A Palm Bay man is helping the homeless get back some of their dignity.
John Adams says it all stems from his compassion. It's what got him here.
For the past 14 years, his full-time job has been working as a Health First associate. He also serves as a volunteer chaplain and is there for families of hospice patients during their final days.
Five years ago, Adams and his wife were on their way to dinner.
That's when she noticed a homeless camp on a canal just off the road.
"I felt guilt. There I was going to eat a steak, and those folks were there living in a tent," Adams tells us.
The next day he respectfully went to the camp, met the men staying there, and asked if they needed help.
The residents got clean by bathing in a canal.
That visit inspired him to get his master's degree in biblical studies, and start his own homeless ministry.
After visiting other camps, he learned the homeless had no where to shower in Palm Bay.
A friend in Dallas was running a nonprofit called Streetside Showers. He offered Adams a trailer of his own.
It's got all the bells and whistles to hold and heat water.
And for three years now, he and his volunteers offer free showers at different churches across the county each week.
"I cover Brevard County; south, middle and north," says Adams.
The group provides towels and shower supplies to just a few people, or many times some 30 people each visit.
Each person gets 20 minutes inside to get clean and to put on fresh clothes.
Adams says something this simple goes a long way if you are homeless.
"I feel like a million bucks. I you haven't had a shower for a long time, it just feels so good," he says. "And that's why we say 'restore hope and dignity', because you have some dignity, and when you feel good about yourself, it makes your day better."
Better to step away from the reality of living on the streets, at least for a moment.
Adams says after he retires in August, he will work towards a Streetside Showers stop in Orlando.