Update on Refresh Mobile Shower Ministry (RMSM)
It’s been awhile since we have sent out a newsletter, but we have some great
news to share!
Firstly, since our service to the Community was deemed to be an ‘essential
service’ RMSM has been able to keep going strong. Our team of volunteers
continue to be excited as they serve the Homeless & Vulnerable Populations in
the City of Abbotsford.
As reported in our last newsletter, your prayers & financial contribution have
moved the dream of providing FREE showers to the Homeless & Vulnerable
Populations in Abbotsford to where it continues to be a REALITY! THANK YOU SO
Like everyone else, the past 1 ½ years has been very challenging with all the
restrictions & lockdowns due to the pandemic.
In October 2020 we celebrated our 1000th shower. We were privileged to have
had Mayor Braun, Councilor Ross Siemens, Host Site Co-Ordinator Jane Njogu,
Henry Penner, several of our volunteers & one of our shower guests express their
appreciation for the service that we provide. To date, we have now provided 1300
showers and counting.
On May 6th, we celebrated our 2nd anniversary but due to Covid restrictions we
could only share cakes with our guests & volunteers.
We are currently serving on Thursdays at MCC on Gladys Avenue from 4:30-6:30
pm. In addition to RMSM providing FREE showers, the Host Site also provides the
guests with a hot cooked meal & clothing. Christian literature is also made
available for our guests. Come September, we will again be providing FREE showers for the homeless at Bakerview Church on Clearbrook Road. Once this
pandemic is over, we will be looking for additional Host Sites where we can
continue serving the Homeless & Vulnerable populations with a FREE shower.
Secondly, in recognition of providing the 1000th shower back in October 2020, we
wrote an article for the Abbotsford Times where we had mentioned our need of
purchasing a vehicle to tow the trailer since we had been using a borrowed
vehicle up to that time. We can now say that this need has been met! Wow! On
April 1st, 2021 we were able to purchase a truck from a $27,000 donation received
from the City of Abbotsford through the Federal Government’s COVID RESPONSE
FUNDING. (The funding was specifically for the purchase of the truck – See picture
below of the truck & Shower Trailer)
Lastly, on March 18, 2021, Refresh Mobile Shower Ministry became incorporated
and is in the process of becoming a registered charity. This move helped us
receive the government funding, and will put us in a better position for future
growth and support opportunities. We are thankful for the support of King Road
MB Church from the start, and are enjoying that continued partnership.
Thank you for your interest, prayers & financial support.
Please feel free to visit our Website (https://refreshmobileshowerministry.ca) for
more information or if you wish to donate to this ministry.
Henry Penner, Janet Janz, Anna Keyes and our Team of Volunteers
Identifying A Need
Homelessness is a reality in Abbotsford. The lack of shower facilities effects hygiene and can cause health issues. This creates a barrier to finding employment and transition out of the homelessness, because Self-esteem and mental health are severely impacted.
We believe that the Refresh Mobile Showers Project is benefiting the homeless people in the City of Abbotsford because everyone in a community benefits when its members are healthy. The shower trailer provides the opportunity for us to connect with people who are homeless and living out of tents or cars. Our aim is to provide free showers to those who are part of the homeless population. Dignity and respect for all people is our value. The Refresh Mobile Showers Initiative has widespread support in the community.
What We Are Doing
Our Refresh Mobile Showers trailer has two compartments; each one has its own private entrance for our guests to access the free showers. A 225 gallon onboard fresh water tank provides the water for up to 20 people. Our guests are all given free socks and underwear. An On-demand propane water-heater supplies the warm water for a comfortable shower. The grey-water flows into the 350 gallon holding tank under the unit. Our trailer is heated by a propane furnace. The trailer has also been used at an Extreme Cold Weather Shelter in the winter months. Heating elements in the tanks keep the water from freezing in the winter.
We have reached another significant milestone. In May 2019, we provided our first shower. In October 2020, we provided our 1000th shower. Going forward, we welcome like-minded individuals and churches to come alongside us in making this Ministry a continued reality in our Community. Your support whether through volunteering, praying or through your generous financial giving is greatly appreciated.