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DRIP Mobile Shower Co-Creator Allegedly Embezzled Thousands in Donated Funds

Christian Clements stole 'at least $11,000 over the last year,' according to members of DRIP's board of directors.

Screenshot from WCCO on YouTube|

Christian Clements speaks with WCCO in April 2022

In Chicago, there’s ShowerUp, a mobile unit that provides showers to the city’s unhoused. Cloud Covered Streets provides free showers to homeless folks in Phoenix, and in New York, Brooklyn Community Services operates a mobile shower bus. 

The DRIP Mobile Shower Unit would have been the first roving shower of this kind in the Twin Cities. In 2021, founder Christian Clements told Racket about his plans to bring showers and dignity to Minneapolis's unhoused, an idea he hatched after working with local mutual aid organizations at encampments throughout the city.

"I see such a huge value in meeting people—literally meeting people—where they're at," Clements said. "If we can give somebody a place where they can have a locked door, warm up, and trust the situation enough to close their eyes and put their head under a stream of water, that's creating a space that doesn't exist right now."

For a while, things seemed to be humming along for DRIP. The nonprofit posted regular updates to its Facebook page. By 2022, its GoFundMe had collected roughly $20,000 in donations, in addition to money raised in collaboration with local businesses like The Foundry Home Goods. In an April 2022 segment on WCCO, anchors noted that DRIP was entering “the final leg of the project,” with water tanks and walls going up “over the coming weeks.”

But 2022 came and went with no mobile shower to show for it. 

In March of last year, according to a press release, DRIP received a $15,000 seed grant from the Starbucks Foundation, money that would help buy the water tanks and “most of the hardware to power the showers.” The organization celebrated that achievement with a “FUNdraiser” at Can Can Wonderland featuring DJ sets from members of Poliça and Shannon Blowtorch and live music from Gully Boys. 

There are few updates on the project after August, when framing on the mobile shower structure was completed. Then, on March 3, in The DRIP’s first Facebook post since November, there was this update:

“I (Christian Clements) am sorry to announce that The DRIP Mobile Shower is ceasing production at this time. 

I have mismanaged our funds in excess of $5,000. My partners in this project are filing a police report so that this is resolved in an appropriate manners. 

I am incredibly ashamed and sorry for my actions. I will offer an explanation, future plans of repayment and what will happen with our progress in the coming days.”

A lengthy statement from DRIP’s John Henry and Levi Wolterstorff, who made up the other two thirds of the org’s board of directors, quickly followed.

Henry and Wolterstorff wrote that they had been notified by people at two other nonprofits “that Christian had been inappropriately soliciting donations in The Drip’s name.” The claims led them to review bank statements between August 2023 and January 2024, the results of which, the pair write, were “striking.” 

“Among a small number of legitimate expenses were roughly $5,500 worth of personal expenses charged to Christian’s business card while traveling in Alaska and the West Coast,” their post reads. “Additionally, our accounts were frozen in January after going negative by nearly $600. Upon further investigation, we have determined that Christian has embezzled at least $11,000 over the last year.”

Among the alleged charges: plane tickets, AirBNBs, motels, cell phone bills, vet bills, concert tickets, and a rental car. Clements spent thousands of dollars on groceries, fast food, and bar tabs, according to the board members, and “nearly daily coffees.”

“We have seen no indication that Christian had any resistance or remorse in stealing these funds for his personal use. It indicates that he absolutely lacks the integrity and dignity that is required to be the leader of a community project,” their statement reads. 

In response to an email inquiry from Racket, Clements wrote, “Yes, most of the accusations are true.”

“I am processing the damages that I have caused The DRIP and the community,” he continued. “I am currently paying off owed rent to our shopmates. My next step is to hire an accountant so that I know the exact amount that I have taken. With or without me, I am hopeful to find a way to finish the work that was started.”

Henry and Wolterstorff write that they have resigned from the project and are taking legal action against Clements. They add that he never withdrew funds from the GoFundMe, which has been locked, and they plan to work with the fundraising platform “to figure out the steps forward.”

(Henry and Wolterstorff did not respond to Racket's message seeking additional information, and the organization’s website,, is no longer available.)

“The trailer is sitting roughly halfway built with the hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars dutifully spent, and we were moving along with momentum,” their statement says, and they hope another organization might be interested in taking it over “or otherwise salvaging the great effort here.”

On that, at least, Clements and his DRIP collaborators agree.

"With or without me, I am hopeful to find a way to finish the work that was started," his statement concludes.

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