Spreading Hope One RV Shower At A Time
Sometimes the simplest things we have are often overlooked until we don’t have access to them anymore. Taking a daily shower may sound mundane, but for hundreds of thousands of homeless people, having the opportunity to take one as much as once a week is a blessing.
In an effort to help the homeless population of Atlanta, Georgia, Optimus Industries, LLC and Ranger Distribution Inc. joined forces to create a new 3-stall mobile shower trailer for the nonprofit Hope thru Soap.
Burlington Graphic Systems added a snazzy wrap around and Lippert donated the final pieces (frame, axle, and steps) to finish it off. A list of sponsors contributed toward the new Hope thru Soap trailer cost and a tow truck to boot.
Among other essential provisions Hope thru Soap provides, it offers folks in need a chance to suds up and rinse down in an RV shower.
“This has been a real team effort from a lot of people, and we are very grateful for the support,” Hope thru Soap Founder Jason Winter said.
What is Hope thru Soap?
Hope thru Soap has one mission: “…make someone’s day better than the day before.” The organization, founded in 2016, provides a “Mobile Outreach Experience” in various locations in and around the city of Atlanta. It offers mobile showers, haircuts/shaves, food, clothing, toiletries, and other resources in a “block party” atmosphere.
“When you put the smell of a cookout in the air and music, it brings people to a happy place. So to be able to eat a hot dog or hamburger with sides, take a shower, get clean clothes, a haircut, and just hang out really transforms people,” Hope thru Soap Executive Director Megan Roberts VandeBogert said.
Learn more about what Hope thru Soap is all about in the clip below.
How the idea of using an RV shower trailer started
For months, Jason Winter and his friends would drive around Atlanta and distribute sandwiches and clothes to the homeless. They would strike up conversations, and Winter would regularly hear the same sentiment.
“Jason asked them, ‘What is your biggest need’?” said VandeBogert. “Everyone consistently said the same thing. It was access to a shower. You can find a bathroom, but it’s not easy to find a shower.”
The solution presented itself in the form of a two-stall shower trailer. Each person could take a long, hot shower in a private stall complete with soap, shampoo, a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, and a razor.
New RV shower trailer doubles the effort
The new shower trailer was delivered to Hope thru Soap earlier this year in January and was put into use almost immediately. Along with the original 2-stall shower trailer, this new setup more than doubles the number of people Hope thru Soap can serve. And it couldn’t have come at a better time.
The organization had to close down its shower events for 6 months due to COVID regulations. But that didn’t slow down or stop the team. They partnered with other businesses to deliver meals, bags of food, hygiene, and PPE during those months.
However, once October 2020 rolled around, their help was in high demand, and small shower events started once more.
A recent March 2021 Facebook post reads, “…Since then we’ve been able to grow our crowd size still keeping events smaller, provide sanitizer & masks for everyone, temperature checks, sanitizing guidelines following CDC protocols and keeping everyone safe to shower… it’s different times now. ”
The Facebook post below shows the construction of the new 3-stall shower trailer.
Hope thru Soap’s latest efforts
Hope thru Soap partners with several other local agencies on a regular and as-needed basis. Towards the end of March, the nonprofit was called to assist those affected by the tornado disaster in Newman, Georgia.
“Our team will be focusing on showers for the 200+ individuals that are in the churches taking shelter right in the heart of downtown.” read a Facebook post dated March 30th.
Where can you learn more about Hope thru Soap?
What’s happening in the RV industry
Chat with other RV enthusiasts on current events happening in the RV industry on iRV2 forums. iRV2 is an online RV forum community that encourages “thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.”
Read about other ways RVs have come to the aid of others in the article RVs As Temporary Housing Come To The Rescue.