When we first thought about a mobile shower unit for the homeless, we wondered if it was even possible. Our family has spent years working with the homeless (first in Brooklyn NY and then in New York) mostly providing meals, clothing, sleeping bags, backpacks, etc. We have made some wonderful friendships and had the privilege of seeing lives transformed over the years. We always had the perspective that whatever we were providing was simply a “handshake” that would eventually lead to a relationship. The relationship is so important because without it there can be no potential for discipleship.
We always wondered, though, what need wasn’t being met. What if we could start the relationship with a symbolic “hug”? If handing someone a meal is a “handshake”, then providing them with a shower must certainly be a “hug”! That became part of our core values.
Grace: It’s often defined as “unmerited favor.” It’s getting what we don’t deserve. For us, it translates into creating a level-playing-field approach to the friends we serve. Some call it dignity. Grace says that we are all broken, we have all missed the mark, we have parts of our story that we aren’t proud of, but we will stand shoulder-to-shoulder as we go through life…together.
Hope: Someone said that you can live a month without food, a week without water, but less than a minute without hope. Hope is optimism. It says that tomorrow might be a better day. It’s the possibility of a job, housing, freedom from addiction, restoration of relationships, and a future that has brightness.
Love: The thing that binds it all together is centered around love. It’s the verb that cleans a shower, not AFTER someone uses it, but in preparation for the NEXT person. Love sits and talks, hugs, trusts, and anchors the relationship