A local church is trying to meet what they say is a basic human need – clean clothes and bodies – with a new facility that’s the first of its kind in the region.
Mission Church, on the south end of Bend, is located in an old Fitness 1440 and the gym’s 14 old showers sat unused until two years ago, when they decided the facility could be better utilized helping the homeless.
As part of the church’s “Pay it Forward” campaign, they began renovating the facility, including the addition of a kitchen and laundry.
Even as work was underway, some in need received help, including one man who had been in the same clothes for a week.
“He’d lost hope and was just feeling pretty down. We were able to let him come in, take a shower, gave him clean clothes and we washed the clothes that were in his backpack,” said Beth Allen, the Pay it Forward Director for Mission Church. “And, while he waited for his laundry to be completed, he helped us finish painting. And he left with a smile on his face.
Starting next week, “Pay it Forward Showers and Laundry” will be open every Tuesday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 61383 S. Highway 97.
Mission Church will also provide a brown-bag lunch and help connect people with medical, mental health and other services, if needed.
The $150,000 project was funded by a grant from the Maybelle Clark Foundation.