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Homeless Benefit from Shower the People at Salvation Army - KOAM TV 7

Homeless Benefit from Shower the People at Salvation Army

Updated:
Joplin, MO -

     The Salvation Army in Joplin no longer just serves lunch to the homeless and hungry. Its also offering showers and laundry facilities.
 

Every little comfort you can get is a big plus, said Laurie Bayne as she turned on a shower and tested the water temperature. Its her second at the Salvation Army.
Shower the People is a program that  provides soap, shampoo, shaving cream, razors and even towels for free.  And it
s providing a big change from life without showers out on the street  or for Bayne, " Im in my car. Im living in my car."  Or in a tent as is the case for Tandra Sampson who said, You feel grimy. You  feel dirty.  You dont want to be around people. You dont want to go anywhere. You just  want to stay  where ever youre at. You want to stay cause you  dont wanna, you smell." 
William O. Gully who was at the Army eating lunch but has showered here before said, "You dont go talk to people if youre dirty."
 

Kelli Striegel shared, I took my baths in the creek."
Gully says  a chance to cleanup improves how people treat you. 
 He explained,  "If you can use deodorant and you don
t smell dirty, look dirty,  of course  they do. They look  at you different in every aspect of life,  to get a job, to do anything."
 
Besides showers they can use washers and dryers. Kelli Streigel  got help from her toddler grandson. It
s a cost saver for her, even though now she does have an apartment.
Striegel said, "Until youve been homeless, you have no idea what its like.  Its the little things you take advantage of. When you get it back, its liberating."

Gully called the laundry a big plus because,  "If you put dirty clothes back on then of course you've defeated the cause."

Those who've taken the showers like Gully said its making a difference in self-esteem.

Tandra said, "It makes you feel invigorated. It makes you feel better, gives you, makes your attitude different, seem to be a lot more happier."

Gully quipped,
I  look  a little shaggy but at least Im clean shaggy. He laughed.  
 

Major Beckie Stearns with the Salvation Army said a grant from the organization will provide funds for at least a year and shes received some donations of cleaning products and toiletries. She said the program was inspired after a woman who barely spoke showered and became a changed person. Thats her hope for all who use it.
Between self-image and being healthier and hopefully  the outcome will be,  they
ll be more productive citizens for Joplin. Thats the goal."

Laurie Bayne left  the Salvation army feeling, "Refreshed. Like, I feel like a person again instead of just surviving from day to day."

The Shower the People program started at the beginning of April.
     If you'd like to support the program, the Army is accepting donations of toiletries and laundry supplies.

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