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Community Shower Truck helping Central Oregon homeless stay cool and clean

Serves encampment along Hunnell Road

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- As the homeless camp along Hunnell Road in northeast Bend grows, volunteers are helping out in a variety of ways.

The president of Community Shower Truck- Ministries, Tom Stutheit, said Thursday he has made it a goal to bring the truck every Thursday.

He said they usually get about 15 to 20 people using it over the 2 1/2 hours it's there. And he's expecting that number to rise again as temperatures go up, and the heat makes it more of a necessity.

Stutheit said a majority of their clients are single, homeless men. However, they also provide the service to women and families.

In addition to no-cost showers, Stutheit said they also provides hygiene items such as towels, toothpaste, razors, deodorant, toothbrushes, combs, socks and underwear to the homeless community.

The shower truck also is stationed in Redmond. However, the nonprofit provides care beyond both cities to help the homeless.

Stutheit said he'd like to procure a second shower truck to serve those in need, but needs more funding, drivers and assistance to make that a reality.

"They need a shower just as bad as anybody else in this world needs a shower, and they have no access," Stutheit said. "In the past, they would have to go to swimming pools or another place where they would have to pay to get a shower."

The shower truck has been operating since 2011 and was eventually sold to a Bend church in 2015. In 2017, a group of volunteers and supporters helped to develop the nonprofit in efforts to expand services to the homeless.

The ministries' mission is to help restore individual dignity and self-worth by reflecting God’s unconditional love and grace to homeless men, women, and children in Deschutes County.

Article Topic Follows: Community

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Bola Gbadebo

Bola Gbadebo is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Bola here.


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