For people who are homeless, showers meet big needs at Burnside Shelter

IMG_0829For most people, a shower is a modern convenience – a regular part of our routine we give only a momentary thought. For others, it’s a lifeline, and one of the only things that makes them feel human again.

“For men and women looking to get and hold a job, reestablish ties with friends and families, or simply desire to feel clean and dignified, a shower becomes less of a luxury, and more of a basic need,” said Andrew Hall, Guest Care Specialist down at the Burnside Shelter. “The significance of a shower cannot be overstated.”

At 2 p.m. each day, Portland Rescue Mission offers up 36 showers to interested male guests during the two-hour block of time at the Guest Care Center. The demand for showers is often greater – especially during these hot summer months. Consequently, the increased need for showers has also caused our supply of towels to dwindle along with other hygiene products (razors, toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc.).

Will you help us restock our towels and toiletries down at the Burnside Shelter?

For many of our guests, a shower is an essential part of lifting them out of the vicious cycle of being homeless on the streets, and into a life of stability and purpose through our Connect Ministry (which is part of our Pathway Ministries).

burnside-shelter-front-desk“Walking out of Portland Rescue Mission fed, well rested and clean allows the men who come to begin each day with a fresh start,” said Andrew. “It may be the one thing they need to change their path and turn the corner toward a positive and progressive life change.”

Andrew went on to describe one interaction he had with a young man, who came in to the Guest Care Center one day and approached him quietly, asking if he knew where he could clean himself up. When Andrew explained to the young man he didn’t have to go anywhere else, and could stay right here and get that shower at Portland Rescue Mission, he began to cry.

“He told me that he had just recently become homeless, and as someone that was new to the area, he felt he was on his own,” elaborated Andrew. “All he wanted at that time was to feel clean and new again.

“I am pleased to say that after seeing him a few times for showers and meals, I no longer see my new friend and believe he has moved onward and upward.”

Showers are just one of the many services offered at the Guest Care Center in downtown Portland at the Burnside Shelter. (See the complete schedule of events). Showers, along with meals, mail services and 24-hour restrooms are all part of our Hope Ministries.

Help us restock our towel inventory and other hygiene products.  Drop your donations off at the front desk of the Burnside Shelter (111 W Burnside St, Portland, OR 97209). Or consider giving a special donation today. Thank you for your compassionate care and support for the work being done at Portland Rescue Mission.