Cloud Covered Streets: How local organization is helping the homeless
Who they are
Cloud Covered Streets is a 501c3 organization that provides showers, laundry and haircuts to homeless people across the valley. Executive Director Robert Thornton built a mobile laundry and shower trailer that he takes around the Valley three times a week. Other services include providing new clothes and various supplies to people who need them most.
What they do
Robert explained that the trailer based in Phoenix was launched in August of 2020, and they plan on opening a trailer soon in Tucson. They also have a location based in Fort Worth, Texas.
“We have six locations that we go to; there are places where there are higher number of individuals that need our services,” he said.
How it started
Robert came to the idea by driving though Phoenix and being able to see unhoused individuals who needed assistance.
He said the spark to start the business came from, “Seeing somebody one time on the side of the street that had barely what you can call a t-shirt on. I just started going out and bringing shirts and supplies to people and having conversations with them.”
Robert further explained that through these conversations he was able to discover that many of these individuals needed access to showers, which further pushed the effort.
Volunteers always needed
Cloud Covered Streets relies heavily on its volunteers to willingly donate their time. They provide assistance with laundry services, handing out supplies, and haircuts. They also provide a space for these individuals to be heard.
“We’re nothing without our volunteers. We have hair professionals that come out, and we are always looking for more people,” said Robert.
He further explained that simply starting a conversation can create a huge difference for their overall experience, and the resources and services they provide are secondary.
“We just want to let them know no matter how bad people treat you, somebody cares about you,” said Robert.