DENVER — By any standard, 57-year-old Denver resident Mark Rodgers has not had an easy life.
In prison for more than half of his years, he quickly admits to making some big mistakes.
“I was using drugs night and day night and day. Everyday, you know, I was broke all the time. I was dirty,” he said.
Sometimes in life, it’s nice to catch a little break. And this time, that break came in the form of a truck. A portable laundry truck.
“I’m washing my pants, my shirts, my socks, my underwear, my sheets,” he said.
The mobile laundry truck is the brainchild of the Denver nonprofit Bayaud Enterprises.
“What are the barriers to employment? It surprised us because one barrier to employment was, ‘I wake up on Monday and I don’t have clean clothes,'” Rodgers said.
Bayaud Enterprises repurposed and refit a former paper shredding service truck.
It has six washers, six dryers and two employees. Add water and power, and they’re in business. But this business is free of charge.
“People that are living on the streets is first of all, people that deserve respect and dignity, and they deserve to have clean clothes,” said David Henninger, executive director of Bayaud Enterprises.
“To be able to shower and put clean clothes on over your clean body, that’s a very good feeling,” Rodgers said.
And for Rodgers, he said it might also help him make a clean start.