PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Union Gospel Mission is considering bringing showers and laundry services straight to Portland’s homeless population.
The mission already has a van that goes out 5 days a week to help the homeless, but a new proposal would involve outfitting a truck with portable showers and washing machines.
Curtis Bogan drives the Union Gospel Mission van to Portland’s outlying homeless camps to provide food, clothes and hot drinks.
“Our main priority is to build relationships,” Bogan said.
Mission leaders are considering the cost and staff hours it might take to add this truck to their fleet.
“It would definitely mean better hygiene,” Tyler Skog said.
Skog said it would cut down on the piles of dirty clothes left behind at camps.
“Maybe it would mean that some people wouldn’t throw their clothes away and leave them scattered all over the place,” he said. “They would actually get them cleaned up and maybe hold on to them.”
Mission spokesperson Stacey Kean said they’ve been considering partnering with Oregon Harbor of Hope to get the trucks.
“I think it’s really important, for them to be able to have clean clothing and a shower and feel ready to go out and access various services and seek employment or housing,” Kean said.
Skog also thinks it will help get people off the streets.
“It would definitely make it more appealing because it’s hard to go out and ask people for work when you’re covered in mud because of the rain and everything,” Skog said.