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Sen. Schwank secures $250,000 for Berks mobile shower initiative

State Sen. Judy Schwank on Monday announced she has secured a $250,000 grant from the Pennsylvania 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.

The grant funding will cover the cost of a mobile unit that includes three shower stalls, a truck to pull the mobile shower unit, the construction of a garage to store the truck and shower unit and some supplies.

Trinity Lutheran Church is collaborating in by establishing a nonprofit organization named REFRESH! BERKS to operate and provide a sustainability budget for the mobile shower unit.

“Providing access to basic hygiene for homeless individuals with this mobile shower unit is a vital and forward-thinking step,” Schwank said in a press release. “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.”

She said she’s proud to have secured this funding for Berks and believes this investment will make a positive impact in the lives of many.

BCEH Executive Director Jack Williams said the coalition is grateful to Schwank for the support and to the state for the generous grant.

“We believe that this service is more than just a necessity; it’s a symbol of dignity, respect and a fresh start,” he said. “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.

Source: Berkshire mont

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