Not many health clinics offer showers, but Saban Community Clinic has been doing it for about three decades. The clinic serves an urgent need, given L.A. County’s growing homeless population, which is up almost 50 percent in the past six years to roughly 53,000, though it dipped slightly this year, according to the annual homeless count.

About two dozen people line up at the Saban clinic each weekday morning, waiting for the showers. They come with backpacks, shopping carts and folded-up tents.

Saban’s free showers are a gateway to other services it offers homeless people, who sometimes resist seeking medical care, said Adam Friedman, the clinic’s chief marketing officer. About a third of the people who take showers at Saban also see doctors there. Some of the patients have untreated mental illnesses and chronic diseases. Others have injuries from living on the street.

Read the full article: At L.A. Clinic, Free Showers Can Get Homeless People in to See the Doctor (KQED)

Gregory Andrews says that aside from finding something healthy to eat, a shower is the next most important thing. “It keeps your self-esteem up,” he says. (Anna Gorman/KHN)