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One man's mission to give showers to the homeless

Posted: 10:22 PM, Sep 13, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-13 23:22:00-04

Living in the streets can make hygiene impossible. But a local man is delivering a gift to the homeless in a way that is positively Milwaukee.

"All they have to do is pull down on this chain, and it gives them this hot water," explains Bob Burmeister as he shows photographer Dan Selin around his state of the art trailer.

His charity is best known as "Mr. Bob's Under the Bridge."

It delivers much needed supplies to the homeless.

Now, Burmeister is offering another important service portable showers.

"The cool thing about this shower is not only does it have heating, but it has air conditioning which is piped down to the shower down there."

This week the trailer was dedicated for showers at the parking lot outside Bank First in Cedarburg. The trailer has 4 separate shower stalls.

"Our intention is to get them healthy, disease free. This will prevent a lot of colds because they will be able to get washed up and be clean," Burmeister said.

He learned about the trailers while helping victims of hurricane Katrina five years ago.

"We provide a towel, washcloth, and flip flops..of course there's soap in here."

On the door of the trailer there is a tribute to a former supporter of Bob's homeless effort. Bob Chmielewski's wife passed away last year. Money from her memorial helped support "Mr. Bob's Under the Bridge."

"I felt so compelled to help Bob because I think he's a living saint, the work he does is so indescribable," Bob Chmielewski said.

Chmielsewski added, "He makes them feel whole. Not only does he give them stuff, he makes them feel like real people."

Bob Burmeister is reminding us all that the down and out deserve dignity. He's doing his part to wipe away some of the hurt of homelessness.

The portable shower travels to Kosciuszko Park and the area known as "Tent City" near 6th and Clybourn every Saturday.