June 2019 – News and Updates

Volunteer Spotlight: Sue Andersen

Sue Andersen, our newly appointed STP Board member, is the President and CEO of Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria, and Arroyo Grande Community Hospital. She was appointed in July, 2018, and prior to that was a Service Area Chief Financial Officer for Dignity Health and Hospital CFO for Marian, French and hospitals in Southern California. She and her husband Steve live in Nipomo with their two grown children and their dog Max. They have lived on the Central Coast for the past 27 years.

Sue said, “The mission of our hospitals is to serve our communities and Shower the People fits right in with that. I was introduced to Gwen Watkins by a mutual friend who thought that I could be of help. At that time, STP was struggling to raise funds and didn’t have the shower unit yet.

It is so amazing to me to see the progress made in the last year and how far the organization has now gone with everyone’s help. Our hospitals are proud to be a small part of this through donations and helping with the towels.”

STP is pleased to have Sue join our Board of Directors. We look forward to working together to achieve our organizational goals. This collaboration is an important bridge to better the health and welfare of the guests we serve.

Shower Stats

Since our first showers at the end of October 2018 through the end of May 2019, STP has given 1001 showers!

Shower the Families 

Lucia Mar’s Families in Transition Program

Families in Transition is a federal program that promotes educational stability for children and youth facing housing challenges. It is funded by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act which provides funding to states for the purpose of supporting school district programs that serve homeless students.

Shower the People will provide warm showers to families who are enrolled in Lucia Mar’s Unified School District’s Families in Transition program. Currently there are five families in the program. Beginning in August, our mobile shower unit will offer showers at Lucia Mar’s Student Services office, 227 Bridge St., Arroyo Grande, every Monday, 5:00 to 7:00 pm.

If you have a child in the Lucia Mar School District and are:
  • living with another family or friend due to economic reasons;
  • living in a hotel or motel;
  • staying in a shelter, transitional housing, or domestic violence shelter;
  • without housing and living in a car, tent, RV, or trailer;
  • couch surfing or an unaccompanied minor;
  • living in substandard housing (no heat, water, gas, or electricity);

you (or perhaps someone you know) may qualify for the Lucia Mar Families in Transition Program. Contact your school office to enroll.

STP Volunteer BBQ

Guest Testimonial

The couple pictured here have been guests of Shower the People since we opened our doors in November 2018. They arrive early and are always appreciative and grateful to be able to shower. They have been living in their car for the past eight months after moving here from Lake Isabella.

He told me he had a job at a local restaurant as a dishwasher within 24 hours after arriving in the Five Cities. He said they are living in their vehicle because they are saving their money to buy a small place or a piece of land and he would not be able to do that if he was paying rent.

Last week they stopped to talk to me as I was giving them toiletries prior to their shower time. They told me that he had been able to stay employed because he was able to shower regularly and stay clean, a requirement for his job.

She proudly said, “He has been promoted from dishwasher to busser to line cook at the restaurant.”  She then added, “And I have been able to look clean and presentable enough to get a job with a local insurance company.” She gave me a hug and said, “This is because of the help you guys are providing us.”

They stopped by again this week and told me, “I just got promoted to Assistant Manager of that restaurant!” He then showed me the key to the restaurant, attached to his key ring. She beamed and gave him a quick kiss.

Shower The People has a new van!

In April, STP purchased a 2018 Chevrolet Express 3500 Van with the majority being funded by a generous gift from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints congregations in Arroyo Grande and Pismo Beach.  The van now remains attached to the trailer and carries all the supplies and toiletries we need for several weeks at a time.

We also recently received permission from Landmark Missionary Baptist Church to park the van at their church in addition to the other churches we have been using.  All of our drivers love the new van!

Get Involved

Shower the People is in need of donations of new undergarments and new socks of all sizes, for our guests to put on fresh after their showers. We also need [new] basic toiletries; combs, razors, toothbrushes, small toothpastes. We do not accept individual soaps and shampoos. Please contact us before purchasing items to donate.