If you saw this van driving along the road or parked alongside a building, would you give it much notice? That’s actually part of the plan and beauty of this nondescript vehicle – not to draw attention. It’s the Mobile Shower Unit serving the homeless in Lancaster County, SC. Designer and driver, Kevin Lilly, can take the van wherever it’s needed.
Most of us probably take for granted the privacy, warm-to-hot water, and the feelings of relaxation, rejuvenation, or just plain cleanliness our showers afford. For the men and woman living under bridges, in the woods, or in abandoned buildings, this Mobile Shower Unit offers all that, and in some cases the first step out of those conditions. It takes little imagination to understand how a refreshing shower, clean hair and a clean shave can boost one’s confidence and chances for a job interview. For some of these men and women it’s already happened.
And yet such a simple thing. A shower. The van carries a 50 gallon drum of clean water and a water heater that allows for a 5 minute hot shower. The stall is small, but big enough and, like the rest of the van’s interior – spotless. Through donations, wash cloths, towels, soap, shampoo and other items are provided. The men and women may keep them after their shower. If they choose not to, Kevin takes the laundry home to wash and use again.
Such a simple thing, yet not so simple when helping to restore and honor an individual’s dignity. And of course there’s more to the story. During the rest of National Hunger and Awareness Week, I’ll open the doors to the van and the windows into Kevin’s ministry to Lancaster’s homeless. I invite you to peek through the window with me.
To contact Kevin Lilly firstname.lastname@example.org