GoBanyo, the shower-bus for homeless people, is a project co-founded by the book author Dominik Bloh. The bus with the slogan „washing is dignity“ is available for users in four locations in Hamburg throughout a week, with one day specially dedicated for homeless women.
With three bathrooms it offers an opportunity for users to take a warm, peaceful shower and get free clean laundry. Before this project came along, this was something unattainable for many people without a home. Thanks to his own experiences, Dominik understands this better than anyone.
Life on the streets
„It was in February, on the night that I’ll never forget. I had one hour left. Two suitcases packed. I went out and it was snowing. There was still high snow cover on the ground.“
This is how Dominik describes being forced out of his home for what will turn out to be ten years without a permanent roof over his head. At 16, Dominik was left alone, invisible to his family, friends and public authorities.
Despite all of that, he graduated from high school for what he points out as two main reasons. The school offered him safety and a place to belong. He was not just a homeless boy, but a student.
After graduation, Dominik lived on the street, day to day, in what is best described as „survival mode“, not having much time or resources to find a way out of his situation.
Change of perspective
The life-changing moment happened once he had encountered people who came to Hamburg escaping from crises and war regions. At that moment he realized:
„I know the language. I know where to get food. I know where to get the clothes. I can help.“
He joined an association offering help to refugees and eventually found help through helping others.
However, Dominik didn’t stop there. Today he is sharing his inspiring story and changing the lives of the homeless people with GoBanyo and by advocating for their rights.