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Sen. Schwank Secures $250,000 for Berks County Mobile Shower Initiative

by Senator Judy Schwank

On Monday, July 8, Senator Judy Schwank (D-Berks) announced $250,000 in grant funding from the Department of Community and Economic Development for a mobile shower unit for the Berks Coalition to End Homelessness.

BCEH is the nonprofit responsible for Berks County’s Continuum of Care program, which coordinates community efforts to address homelessness by developing housing and service systems. BCEH has helped tackle homelessness with its security deposit assistance program, coordinated entry initiative, and safe parking lot initiative for individuals living in their vehicles.

Mobile shower units are a best practice service that can be placed at various access points on a rotating schedule. The grant funding will cover the cost of a three-stall shower unit, a truck to pull the mobile shower unit and store supplies, the construction of a garage to store the truck and shower unit, and start-up supplies, including propane and towels.

Trinity Lutheran Church has joined this project as a collaborator by establishing a 501(c)(3) named REFRESH! BERKS to operate and provide a sustainability budget for the mobile shower, ensuring homeless individuals have a way to shower safely.

“Providing access to basic hygiene for homeless individuals with this mobile shower unit is a vital and forward-thinking step,” said Schwank. “This model has been successful in other areas of the country, and I know this service will help people in our community feel confident as they work towards a brighter future. I’m proud to secure this funding for Reading and Berks County and believe this investment will make a positive impact in the lives of many.”

“Berks Coalition to End Homelessness is incredibly grateful for the generous grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Senator Judy Schwank, enabling us to launch Berks County’s first mobile shower service in collaboration and partnership with Trinity Lutheran Church and West Lawn United Methodist Church,” said BCEH Executive Director Jack Williams. “We believe that this service is more than just a necessity; it’s a symbol of dignity, respect, and a fresh start. Through REFRESH! BERKS, we hope to instill a renewed sense of hope and purpose in the lives of those we serve. We cannot wait to bring this much-needed service to Berks County.”

When the process of purchasing the equipment is complete, and staff is hired and trained, the unit will be just the second mobile shower unit operating in Pennsylvania. The unit is expected to be ready for use in early 2025.

The post Sen. Schwank Secures $250,000 for Berks County Mobile Shower Initiative appeared first on BCTV.

Source: bctv

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