Showers are important to those who are homeless. Showers improve personal hygiene, help restore dignity and self-respect, and are critical for obtaining and retaining a job.
Despite over 100 homeless people in Walla Walla, there is currently only one shower available. It's the one we run on Monday mornings at Pioneer United Methodist Church. It can only provide a shower to about 15 people each week. Far short of the obvious need.
That's about to change! It has long been a dream of the Alliance to expand the shower options. Last year Univera First Serve gave us a huge step toward making that happen. Univera Team Walla Walla, in conjunction with the Walla Walla Wine Walk Weekend, adopted the Alliance as their sponsored charity. The results? $25,000 earmarked for a shower trailer.
Last week we ordered the shower trailer and we expect delivery in about three months.
Why a trailer? It allows us to take the service to where the need is. Initially, we will offer showers somewhere centrally in Walla Walla. But a trailer would also allow showers in surrounding communities if those communities can provide a site and volunteers to manage it.
These are not cheap. Our 2-stall shower trailer, properly configured, costs $35,000. A used vehicle to move it around adds another $5,000. Which means that we still will have to raise another $15,000 before we can fully deploy the trailer.