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To give a free gym pass to a homeless man?

(107 Posts)
Figure17a Sat 28-Jan-17 12:34:59

I do a bit of volunteering with a homeless charity. I was chatting to one of out regulars who was saying he does his best to keep himself clean but hasn't had a shower in six months.

He lives in a tent sad and for various reasons that won't change any time soon. He doesn't usually smell but is scruffy and looks quite obviously like a rough sleeper.

FTTT my (quite swanky) gym sends guest passes. WIBU to give them to him so he can shower? How would it go down with staff/management or other members. I dont want there to be a scene and make him uncomfortable but it seems like a solution for him. What do you think? How would you feel (if male!) about sharing a changing room at your expensive gym with him?

ABowlOfTomatoSoup Sat 28-Jan-17 12:36:14

You really need to speak to your gym about it. Imagine how upset he would be to not get through the front door.

Justmuddlingalong Sat 28-Jan-17 12:37:43

I don't think the swanky gym sends out guest passes with this in mind. I think it would cause embarrassment all round.

RhubarbGin Sat 28-Jan-17 12:38:05

Check with the gym first. Our local gym/pool allows the local homeless people to use the changing rooms and have a hot shower for £1.50. They put it in the charity box on the counter. I suspect the your gym will want to use the day passes to attract business but they may have a similar scheme for showers only?

WorraLiberty Sat 28-Jan-17 12:39:14

Speak to the gym, because no-one here can answer your question.

KoalaDownUnder Sat 28-Jan-17 12:40:02

Also make sure you check the Terms & Conditions of the pass. At my gym, the member has to accompany the guest.

QueenMortificado Sat 28-Jan-17 12:40:54

When our gym gives out guest passes it's so they can sell more memberships. They do this whole walk around and show of the facilities then say "feel free to use the gym and then come back and discuss pricing with us". I think it would be really embarrassing for everyone.

Could you find out what the cost of a few nights in a hostel is and pay for that? I did this recently with a homeless man who sits outside my train station - he goes to a hostel which is £10 per night, not a lot to me but meant a lot to him.

ClimbingTheNorthFace Sat 28-Jan-17 12:41:35

I very much doubt he would get past reception at our gym. The guest passes are there to get new business and the poor souls who use them are subjected to a hard sell by the recruitment team.

WorraLiberty Sat 28-Jan-17 12:43:30

What does FTTT mean?

Figure17a Sat 28-Jan-17 12:47:52

Yes, obviously I need to check with the gym and i would go with him, was just trying to gauge whether it's a reasonable request

The passes, when I've used them in the past, are I'm sure designed to attract new members but guests are treated as genuine guests, no sales pitch

Figure17a Sat 28-Jan-17 12:48:56

Sorry Worra, from time to time

WorraLiberty Sat 28-Jan-17 12:53:39

Oh, thanks. I googled but still wasn't sure blush

Jellybean83 Sat 28-Jan-17 12:53:45

Yeah you'll need to phone the gym. I'm
A member of a mid priced gym (David Lloyd) and half the members there have dissapered up their own asses, wrong time wrong day someone would probably complain. It wouldn't be nice if the poor chap was shamed and tossed out.

LimpidPools Sat 28-Jan-17 12:53:58

I see what you're trying to do, but the gym isn't going to go for it.

And other members, who pay a high premium to go there, aren't going to be delighted by somebody using the facilities to have his first shower in 6 months.

Someone will complain. And although I think this guy has every right to wash and to be clean and comfortable, I couldn't really blame them.

TheRippedOutPage Sat 28-Jan-17 12:54:26

It's not right. The passes are not meant to be used as a free bathroom!

Just because you're feeling charitable does not mean that local businesses have to accommodate it.

goinglocomoto Sat 28-Jan-17 13:01:30

Could you let him use your shower instead?

BarbaraofSeville Sat 28-Jan-17 13:07:47

I've used the odd free gym pass, Groupon deal etc and found that it is almost always for the purposes of member recruitment so you have to go through the whole health questionnaire, hard sell, tour etc, even if you repeatedly tell them you aren't interested in certain aspects - eg Im only ever interested in the pool and spa because I exercise outside but they always insist on going on about all the machines. So much hassle I've stopped bothering, and for this reason unsuitable for a homeless person.

I have heard about homeless people joining the very cheap gyms because they can get access to showers and a warm space for £10-£15 a month.

Birdsgottafly Sat 28-Jan-17 13:11:31

Have you checked of your city has a drop in for Street Sleepers? It would be very unusual if there wasn't.

Also check Churches, many will allow use of the facilities. I don't like religion, but Churches are still making up the shortfall for Charities.

Birdsgottafly Sat 28-Jan-17 13:12:27

Just to add, if there isn't any, would you start to ask why and get this made public?

That's the way to help the homeless.

ifigoup Sat 28-Jan-17 13:12:37

Is there a university anywhere near you? Most of them have showers in public buildings so people who run or cycle to work can shower once they get in. The ones I know of are in completely open access buildings and I think he'd be far less likely to be challenged or embarrassed there than at a gym.

(I know lots of other workplaces will also have showers for their employees but the difference is that most of them won't be in public areas where anyone can walk in without a pass.)

expatinscotland Sat 28-Jan-17 13:12:45


unflinchingasaphotograph Sat 28-Jan-17 13:15:38

This is one of the hardest things about homelessness but at the same time, while it's a lovely idea, ideally he needs regular access to somewhere he can shower. Some good suggestions up the thread.

user1471545174 Sat 28-Jan-17 13:19:51

Could he shower at your house?

barinatxe Sat 28-Jan-17 13:23:17

Just let him shower at your house.

If you don't feel that you can trust him well enough to do that, then you shouldn't expect the gym to put that level of trust in him either.

GimmeeMoore Sat 28-Jan-17 13:26:00

I think it's horribly misguided and patronising and it'd draw attention to him
My gym he'd not get through door as free pass is for potential clients.he clearly isn't

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