People who have experienced the worst end up being the best – for themselves, those around them, and those they don’t know.
It’s true what they say, rock bottom truly is the place to start. Take Muhammad Mahdi. Bad decisions led him to live in the streets when he was in college. He recalls how cold, terrified, and regretful he was the first night he had to sleep in the streets.
“No apartment complex would rent to me, and I didn’t know anyone. The car I drove to Texas that was full of everything I owned… well, I hydroplaned, and the flood swept my car. Of course, I didn’t have insurance, and here I was alone. Alone (in a state I have never been in), no car, no home, and very little money,” Mahdi shared.
As if it was bad enough that he didn’t have a warm place to stay, he also had no one to turn to for help. At least that’s what he thought. Mahdi was fortunate enough to have met somebody who was willing to take him in. He didn’t waste the opportunity and immediately went job and apartment hunting. Eventually, he graduated and moved to Milwaukee but the experience left such an impact that he decided to give back.
His homelessness was not due to substance abuse or associating with the wrong crowd. It was, simply put, making one wrong decision after another and not knowing how to handle adult life he felt he was thrust into. The hopelessness and fear that consumed him momentarily blinded him from making better choices and pursuing good opportunities to start fresh.
Fortunately, time and circumstance were on his side and he slowly made his way up, working hard and carrying on with resilience and determination.
Presently, Muhammad is a resident of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and works as a nurse and health care instructor.
Because he knows how terrifying it is to live on the streets and have no one to run to for help, he decided to make it his mission to help the homeless.
Along with his friend Ronnie Lockett, a U.S. Navy veteran, the two have helped numerous homeless people. However, the pair felt they could do more. After hearing the homeless’ plea for a safe place to get clean, they decided to do the once unthinkable: build mobile showers in order to give the homeless some of their dignity back.
Once the showers are built, the homeless can enjoy hot water for bathing and enough room for hanging clothes and getting dressed with ease. Lockett describes it as a humbling experience and shares how difficult it is to try and not be emotional throughout it all.
An 8-by-4-foot trailer served as a canvas for the project. According to Mahdi, the trailer turned mobile shower or as they’d like to call it, a “community resource hygiene clinic”, would also double as a place where the homeless can seek resources through the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County. Because projects as big and noble don’t come free of cost, Mahdi created a GoFundMe campaign which he hopes will help generate enough money to build more mobile showers.
Inspired by his own experience and the desire to provide the homeless with feelings of safety and respect, Mahdi set a goal of 35 to 40 shower units which he is determined to finish by summer of 2020.
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Source: WISN 12 News