Young said many of their homeless clients consistently use the library as a place to stay cool and warm, plus use the computer. Waldorf also has many tent encampments.
“It makes sense for our clients to not have to use VanGo to get to our office at LifeStyles Inc. to take a shower,” Young said.
Upon arrival at the library, individuals will be checked in, given a towel, washcloth and soap and anything they need to take a shower.
Washington and Young said if they see the program is being well utilized, there will be an opportunity to expand.
“This program will help remind people of the need that’s in our community. What seems like something that’s so basic, to other people it’s a necessity. It gives them a fresh start. If people can’t even take a shower somewhere, how do we expect them to go seek employment if they don’t feel comfortable enough to step out of their comfort zone?” Young said.
Community agencies has differing strengths, Young noted — and this just shows the value of collaboration to assist those in need. She said as LifeStyles works to build trust in the tent communities and deal with the initial crisis of homelessness, their outreach staff will continue to pursue every way possible to provide them with resources, including housing.
“LifeStyles is also tr ying to encourage our homeless (by HUD standards) to become housed,” Young said. “We have funding to help them transition into permanent housing, so this this just another mechanism or tool to encourage people to get housing. We will help them find the housing, secure it, move in and provide follow-up case management to support them.”
For more information, contact LifeStyles at 301609-9900.