In 2019, over 7,155 showers were enjoyed, along with nearly 5,130 loads of laundry.
The cost of providing this service to our clients is minimal; initial supplies cost less than $300 with many of the disposable supplies such as soap and shampoo coming from donations to SVDP.
Starting again in August, Tuesday and Friday, 8am - Noon
Have you ever thought about what it’s like to live in your car or on the street, particularly during the winter months? The part that might be most difficult is not being able to bathe or shower... how that feels and what it does to your personal sense of identity. How difficult is it to feel good, when you know how bad you smell and see the impact on those you pass on the street? This is the life of many of the people who come to us for assistance.
St. Vincent de Paul provides a measure of relief to those people who are living in the worst of conditions in our valley. We have an ‘Urban Rest Stop’ that provides shower and laundry facilities four mornings a week.
This idea came as a result of Dave Moosman’s involvement in the Homeless Task Force for Jackson County. While working with that group, he learned about a facility in Seattle that had been created to provide these services for the homeless. The idea appealed to him and he brought it to our Council for consideration. As luck would have it, we were also rebuilding our facility at that time and were able to create the shell for such a service. Today this facility is available to the homeless and transient in our area as well as individuals and families who have no capacity to do laundry.
The biggest surprise, according to Dave, has been how much the service is appreciated by those who use it, as well as the positive impact on their demeanor. “People just walk a little taller after they’ve taken a good shower and have clean clothes,” says Dave. “An added feature of running a service like this is the fact that volunteers have a better opportunity to get to know the people who use the facility. You learn a little something about what brought them to this point in life and how they think about things. Many of our volunteers don’t usually have that chance.”
While this facility costs very little to operate and relies heavily on the six to eight volunteers who staff it, it certainly is returning sizable human dividends.
"Needs" for The Urban Rest Stop: