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Mobile shower unit opens in Oceanside for homeless

Homelessness in North County is rising and San Diego Rescue Mission is helping to provide a way to engage to help transition from the streets to a home.

OCEANSIDE, Calif. — A mobile shower unit in North County is opening to help those experiencing homelessness.

San Diego Rescue Mission is partnering with Calvary Chapel in Oceanside to provide four showers weekly on-site.

“Who on the planet doesn't like a hot shower?,” said Donnie Dee, San Diego Rescue Mission President/CEO.

A shower can help wash away the past.

“We feel like a hot shower is a game-changer,” said Dee.

It can be a transition for those experiencing homeless to make a fresh start.

“When we get a chance to engage them with something that meets an immediate need then ultimately we build a relationship of trust and hopefully we move forward to a program and a life out of homelessness,” said Dee.

San Diego Rescue Mission is a faith-based organization that provides support to those seeking to recover from homelessness, addiction, abuse, and poverty.

It is partnering with Calvary Chapel in Oceanside to provide a four-unit mobile shower for those living on the street.

“We want to meet the community, where the community is at,” said Dan Leitz, Lead Pastor at Calvary Chapel, Oceanside. “There is a ravine right behind our church and many homelessness and often they are just looking for a place to communicate and be loved on and be served

After homeless advocates saw an increase in homelessness in North County, San Diego Rescue Mission was chosen to operate a shelter in Oceanside and should open this spring.

Last year they partnered with Bread of Life and Humanity Showers for a pilot program, offering a meal, a hygiene kit, clothes and a warm shower.

“When they come out of that shower and their hair is wet and they've got a towel around their neck and some clean clothes, it's amazing what that does. You can see the spark in their eye. You can see the hope,” said Dee.

After they provided 1,185 showers, that's about 25 a week, they knew they needed their own shower program.

“Thirty-nine or 40 people that have received a shower at that little outreach in Oceanside have gotten into our program down here in San Diego, 39,” said Dee.

San Diego Rescue Mission says it’s always seeking volunteers.

“You can come and work one of the shower ministry days. It is life-changing!” said Dee.

That change can help spout a fresh start.

“This gives us an opportunity to engage someone who doesn't feel like anybody understands,” said Dee.

San Diego Rescue Mission says it will start with providing showers one day week and then expand to the YMCA and hopefully by the end of the year provide showers five days a week.

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