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Seattle’s First Mobile Shower Unit to Provide Fresh Start for Neighbors Experiencing Homelessness

Amerigroup Washington, Seattle Union’s Gospel Mission and The MORELove Project is “Washing-a-ton” to restore dignity to those sleeping outside without access to showers

SEATTLE–March 28, 2017–According to the 2016 point-in-time homeless census, 3,000 of our neighbors in the Seattle area sleep outside each night and therefore do not have access to showers. Seattle’s first mobile shower unit, Shower the People, a reference to James Taylor’s “Shower the People [with Love],” will kick-off spring season with showers beginning March 28, 2017 at 9701 Myers Way S, Seattle, the current site of Camp Second Chance and future site of Mayor Murray’s authorized Myers Way encampment.

The shower unit is operated by Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission, Amerigroup, and The MORELove Project. The Mission will provide the staffing and oversee the day-to-day operations and maintenance of the shower unit. Thanks to a generous gift from Amerigroup, the purchase of the shower unit was made possible and Amerigroup will also provide residents regular trainings and resources in areas of substance abuse, mental health, flu prevention and more. The MORELove Project brought the partners together and will provide ongoing volunteer support.

The partnered agencies will host a ribbon cutting and media event on March 28 from 10:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m., directly before opening for service. Amerigroup has invited Sea Mar Community Health Centers to participate in the launch event, whose navigators assist with Basic Food Program and Medicaid Washington Apple Health applications as well as provide referrals to healthcare services at their centers.

Shower services have long been on the Camp Second Chance website wish list. One resident, Scott, exclaimed, “This is amazing!” upon hearing the news.

The shower unit will begin service at the Camp Second Chance encampment and will serve approximately 30 residents every Tuesday, with expansions to other sites in coming months. Residents will each be able to take a 15 minute hot shower and receive clean, dry towels, shampoo, conditioner and soap. This location was the first chosen based on the potential to provide showers for all residents without re-filling the water tank and ease of access for parking. The unit can provide up to 30 showers, two at a time, before it needs to be refilled with water.

“Since the day Amerigroup started serving Washingtonians, we have been committed to reaching people where they are,” said Daryl Edmonds, Amerigroup Washington president. “This partnership is just another example of how we remain devoted to bringing innovative healthcare solutions while ensuring a great level of care and dignity to the communities that we serve.”

“Our team is very excited to have another tool in our tool belt to help those experiencing homelessness. The Mission serves more than 60 encampments on a regular basis, but we could not do it without faithful partners and volunteers, such as Amerigroup and The MORELove Project. This collaboration will allow our outreach team to offer a new, needed service at some of these encampments and build further relationships with those in greatest need,” said Jeff Lilley, president of Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission.

“The MORELove Project exists to rally groups and companies together to serve the needs of our homeless neighbors. It’s crucial not to work in silos, and Shower the People is one example of three very different organizations coming together to meet a common goal,” said Kristine Moreland, founder and director of The MORELove Project. “We look forward to seeing the difference this shower unit makes in the lives of our dear friends on the streets.”

In the future, these organizations would like to expand shower services to other sites throughout King County and look at other services that might be mobilized to these same sites. For more information, please visit www.ugm.org/showerthepeople.

About The MORELove Project
The MORELove Project was founded by longtime homeless advocate Kristine Moreland, to provide transitional services that help lead the area’s homeless to a safe and stable life. The Seattle-area organization partners with businesses, non-profits, and community organizations to provide care and services to those in need. In addition to hosting large events throughout the year, every Tuesday night MORELove volunteers walk the streets of Seattle with the Union Gospel Mission, bringing food, clothing, and love to the homeless community. For more information, visit www.themoreloveproject.org, or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About Amerigroup
Amerigroup Washington helps improve health care access and quality for approximately 150,000 Washington citizens by developing innovative care management programs and services. Members are assured care that is not only accessible, but also accountable, comprehensive, integrated and patient-centered. Amerigroup Washington provides ongoing community relations and outreach to encourage members to become active participants in their health care. Through health education programs, members are empowered to choose and sustain a healthy lifestyle.

About Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission
Since 1932, Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission has been dedicated to serving, rescuing and transforming those in greatest need through the grace of Jesus Christ. The private organization partners with individuals, churches, other organizations and the local government to awaken hope in the hearts of people overcome with poverty and homelessness. Its programs address issues of hunger, homelessness, poverty, high risk youth, and addiction, providing emergency care and long-term recovery services to transform lives and transform our city. For more information, visit www.ugm.org or follow the Mission on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.