Bellingham expands homeless outreach with portable showers

    Bellingham expands homeless outreach with portable showers (PHOTO: Courtesy to KOMO)<p>{/p}

    The Lighthouse Mission Ministries has expanded its homeless outreach by launching portable showers on Wednesday, Dec. 12.

    The showers are in a trailer that will sit in the parking lot outside of the Mission on Wednesdays. The Shower Connect trailer is equipped with two stalls to give those experiencing homelessness an opportunity to shower in warm water. Each stall includes a shower, toilet and sink.

    “Access to warm showers and restrooms is essential to a person’s dignity and when associated with wrap-around support services can inspire life transformation,” said Hans Erchinger-Davis, Lighthouse Mission's executive director.

    At first, the showers will be available on a sign-up basis on Wednesdays. Starting in January the Mission will be partnering with churches in the area to have the showers operating on Saturdays as well.

    A variety of hygiene items, menstrual hygiene products, towels and clean clothing will be provided as needed.

    The Mission runs another outreach van, Street Connect, which brings food, water and relationships to different areas in Bellingham. Shower Connect is set up to bring a how shower as well as a "point of relational connection," Erchinger-David said.

    “Neither program is meant to merely be an end to itself, but to be a touch-point," Erchinger-David said. "A point where people hear and see that they matter. That they are not forgotten. That they are loved, not only by the staff and volunteers, but by Jesus. It is our hope that these outreach programs can be a step toward healing, engagement in the Mission recovery programs, and church and community involvement.”

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