Unique Business Supplying Showers During Pope’s Visit

By Tara Bozick
Daily Press (Newport News, Va.)

Philadelphia will essentially shut down during Pope Francis’ arrival Saturday, and a York County-based company is helping health-care workers stay clean without going home.

No Sweat Mobile Shower Service’s tractor-trailer trucks started setting up in the city Wednesday before congestion blocked roadways.

The 12-year-old company sent four trucks carrying a total of 64 individual shower stalls so that Thomas Jefferson University Hospital staff can stay on-site, said No Sweat owner Jim Clayton, a well-known Grafton entrepreneur.

Hospital spokeswoman Jacqueline Kozloski confirmed that the hospital hired the shower service.

Traffic in and around Philadelphia is being restricted Friday through Sunday during the Papal visit with closures of major highways and streets, according to the city website.

“There’s going to be more high-level security in Philadelphia than anywhere on the planet,” Clayton said, adding hospital staff had access to food and places to sleep but needed showers.

Clayton custom-built his first shower trailer after using one when he participated in a bicycling event. The No Sweat shower truck proved handy for Poquoson when residents needed warm showers after Hurricane Isabel struck in 2003.

Now, No Sweat Mobile has six shower trucks with three more under construction, including a smaller one to help the homeless, said Clayton. The $250,000 shower trailers are built at an industrial property off Hornsbyville Road. Contractors drive the rigs to events — like music festivals, NASCAR races and bike ride fundraisers — east of the Mississippi and as far north as Toronto in Canada.

Clayton, 72, took shower-truck design to a higher level with blue spray-on Line-x floors, angled showerheads for more room in each stall, liquid soap dispensers, changing areas and truck amenities like a cell-phone charging station, pull-out sinks for handwashing and even hair dryers.

The company is planning to build a mobile laundry unit next, Clayton said, recalling the need for washing clothes during Hurricane Isabel.

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