Each week we meet amazing new faces and hear stories directly from the people you help everyday with your support.
Osage has been with us since we first started in 2020, he was one of our very first showers and loads of laundry, and has become a very good friend to our team. Osage is a proud Marine, he loves people amazingly well, and he has a laugh that echoes through the air. Everyone on the street knows him and loves him.
We wanted to honor Osage. Not just who he is to us, but how much he means to the entire community. This July we named our first trailer after Osage. He was moved to tears at the idea that his life was that impactful. He will be remembered through service everyday going forward.
This summer in Civic Center Park a young boy and his parents came up to us. He had a Paw Patrol backpack, a coloring book in one hand and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the other. He looked up at the trailer and said, “do you really have a shower in there?” One of our volunteers looked at him and said, “We sure do buddy, what is your name?”
He told us his name and his mom asked if they could sign up for a shower and laundry. As they waited, he curiously explored the trailer and asked the volunteers many questions. When it was his turn, we handed him a small rubber duck and he bounced inside. When his shower was finished, he leapt out of the shower and said, “That was awesome, do you know what would be more awesome? If you had a tub-do you think you can do that?” We promised we would.
As his family waited for their laundry to finish, we watched as other people waiting read the boy books, shared water and snacks, or colored with him. At the end of the day he told us that his parents would tell him not to talk to strangers and that they couldn’t go to the park because of all of the dangerous people living outside. He shared that once covid hit and his parents lost their jobs they had to start living in their car. Now the people that they thought were dangerous are their family and we are his family now too. He was so loved and cared for by everyone who came to the trailer that day and we will never forget his smiling face.
Sammy came to us after only living on the street for a week. She was fleeing domestic violence and had nowhere to go. She walked up to us nervously and asked if we had any socks she could have. We gave her socks and offered her a shower and laundry. At first, she said no, she was hesitant to go into an enclosed space. We showed her that it was a space only for her. It was private, it was locked, and that we would be right there if she needed anything. She waited for several hours, walking around in front of the trailer and observing people moving in and out until finally she decided that she could do it. She took a deep breath, walked inside and showered.
When she came out she burst into tears and shared that she hasn’t felt safe in a shower in a long time and that she hasn’t had privacy in the shower in years. We handed her her clean clothes and connected her with a domestic violence resource to help her land on her feet. Several weeks later she came back and smiled and thanked us. She said I was feeling so hopeless the day I came to you, I wasn’t sure who I could trust and you made sure that I felt safe without forcing me into anything. Thank you for your help. She has since moved into transitional housing and is getting support for her trauma. Showers For All is often a stepping stone for people to find what they need next. That day it was just a warm, safe place.
Recently, we met a man named Nick. When he saw the trailer and realized it was available to him, he burst into tears. Nick was interviewing later in the day at a local restaurant and wanted to look better than he did when he first applied. He had a huge smile on his face and was filled with gratitude as he started to walk to his interview. Several hours later Nick came back, gave me a big hug and thanked us again. He had gotten the job! He was so excited to be working again for the first time since March of 2020. He shared with us how many interviews he had gone to and that he was struggling to stay positive. He said, “I knew after I left the shower today that it was going to be a good day. I finally felt like myself again.” Showers are transformative for our bodies and our hearts. Nick was living proof that day.
This is our friend Randall. He is a regular at the Shower trailer and we love getting to spend time with him.
He always has a huge smile on his face and loves to help out.
We are so excited for him because he just found out he has housing! We would love for you to celebrate this with us!
You help make smiling faces like Randall's happen!
Our friend Neil, comes to the trailer in Civic Center Park. He came to us the first time with a port in his chest for chemotherapy, Neil has terminal pancreatic cancer. He looked at us and said, it may be a while because I haven’t been able to clean this wound and it keeps getting infected.
Through the walls of the trailer we heard him take deep breaths in pain while he carefully cleaned around the port.
When he came out, he looked at us with big blue eyes and a big smile on his face.
He said, “I will be here every time you are here...when I don’t come you will know I am gone."
Neil was given the gift of health that day and has every day since. His big smiling face and big laugh will always make us smile.
We remember Neil and every guest we have lost in the last year.
One warm day in Civic Center Park a young man came for a shower and laundry service. He asked if he could have some extra time to cut his hair which was a massive set of curls. He was a recovering drug addict and had been accepted into a two year drug rehabilitation/job training program. The following day he would catch a bus to Arizona. It was an important step in turning his life around. He wanted to look presentable when he arrived. When he came out of the shower, his friends from the street cheered for him. His smile brought tears to my eyes. Showers and clean clothes make a difference!