MDS shower trailer ‘restoring dignity and hope’ for homeless individuals in Colorado
From the generous hands of the Maple Grove Mennonite Church in Hartville, Ohio, a shower trailer traveled to Denver, Colorado, where it will help homeless people restore a sense of dignity in their lives.
Volunteers from the church built and used the shower trailer in 2012 when they helped Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) rebuild a church in Alabama. When they realized the trailer was sitting unused, they decided to donate it to MDS.
“We thought someone else would need it more than we did,” explained church member Dan Dutcher. “So we put on new tires and fixed the brakes.”
While MDS did not need the shower trailer in its vehicle fleet at this time, MDS regional operations coordinator Jeff Koller knew of an organization that did: Showers for All, a non-profit organization on the outskirts of Denver, Colorado, which provides laundry and shower services to those who are otherwise unable to access them due to homelessness or poverty.
“I knew that shower availability is always a concern in this ministry,” said Koller.
Another church member volunteered to tow the trailer — which houses four shower rooms, a washer and a dryer — to Colorado. It arrived in mid-February into the hands of Kellen Berrigan, chief operating officer of Showers for All.
“Our mission is to empower the journey away from homelessness and poverty by restoring dignity and hope,” said Berrigan. “We believe showers are a great way to start that journey.”
The shower trailer, which will now help homeless people in the Denver metro area, arrives at a time when it’s badly needed, Berrigan added.
“Homelessness has seen a dramatic increase over the past year as more individuals are forced into poverty with the loss of jobs and housing due to COVID-19,” he said. “Clean bodies and clothes not only provide an emotionally rejuvenating experience for those who get to enjoy them regularly, but also provide a critical public health service and improve positive outcomes for those seeking employment.”