Laundry/Shower Van Ministry in The Bee
This article appeared in the April 2020 edition of The Bee.
Mobile laundry and shower trucks hosted by Woodstock’s All Saints
By DAVID F. ASHTON
For THE BEE
For quite some time, volunteers at All Saints Episcopal Church in the Woodstock neighborhood have provided hot meals on Saturdays for anyone arriving who need one.
Now, starting on March 7th, the church added a weekly outreach service to the meals, according to the church’s pastor, The Rev. Andria Skornik.
“After hearing from our ‘Hot Meals’ guests, our ‘Social Justice and Advocacy Team’ forged a connection with ‘Harbor of Hope’ to bring their mobile laundry and shower trucks to our church lot,” Skornik told THE BEE as the service was setting up for the first time there.
“We heard from a lot of people that we serve that they not only need shower services, but laundry services too – because otherwise, when their clothing got soiled, they just threw it away, because they had no place to clean them,” explained Skornik.
The “Harbor of Hope” organization doesn’t charge for providing the service, but the church provides fresh water and gray-water disposal, thus giving the trucks the capacity to serve more clients.
“We do this, because our mission is to seek Christ in everyone, and to celebrate God’s love; and then, to use that to make this a better place for more people,” Skornik said. “We see this as a way to help people dignify their lives – to have a good meal, a shower, obtain toiletries, and leave with laundered clothing. That makes life a little better for the people that we can help, here in the Woodstock neighborhood.”
We followed up just before THE BEE’s April deadline, in light of the severe State restrictions imposed to contain the COVID-19 coronavirus. Skornik said they are still providing Saturday lunches, but recipients now receive the meals “to go”, through a walk-up window, instead of being served in the church community room.
“We’re continuing to provide the shower and laundry services [each Saturday], from about 10:30 a.m. until 3 p.m.,” she added.
In Woodstock’s All Saints Episcopal Church parking lot, The Rev. Andria Skornik spends a moment with shower/laundry volunteer coordinator, Jonathan Pitner – a member of the congregation, and a resident of the Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood. (Photo by David F. Ashton)