March 2019 – News and Updates
Volunteer Spotlight: Rick Grether
Rick Grether brings knowledge and experience to his position of Operations Manager for Shower the People. He was instrumental in the spec and design of the Mobile Shower Unit.
Having worked as a driver for Shower of Hope, SLO, and studying the trailer design for Showers of Blessing, Santa Barbara, Rick said he had a pretty good idea of what was needed for our Shower the People mobile unit. He said, “It is huge that we have the three showers with working
toilets and sinks.” Rick spends his time managing, doing servicing and maintenance and training others in the use of the shower unit.
Rick was born in Stockton, CA. He began a lifelong career in flying at Stockton Airport where he got his private pilot’s licence, taught flying and worked for United Airlines. He went to college at San Diego State and got his degree in marketing. He moved to the Bay Area and started a flight
instruction school and an air charter services business before flying for both Hewlett Packard and United Airlines.
Rick has been married to Claire since 1976 and has four children and three grandchildren. The family lived in Half Moon Bay and SLO, after leaving the Bay Area. They moved to Shell Beach in 2006 when Rick retired from United Airlines.
Rick is very positive about his volunteer work for Shower the People, He said, “I see expansion in the future which may eventually mean the need for another trailer.”
Shower Stats for January and February
We had a total of 302 guests with 50 of them being new to our program.
Approximately 40% of our guests have been women.
Shower the People has been visiting area churches for the past three months as a part of our Community Outreach efforts. The purpose of this outreach is to describe our mission and services to groups of people who might be interested in volunteering or donating to our program as well as to thank groups of people who have already donated or served our program.
On December 9, 2008, Rick Grether, Kalleen Corley and Gwen Watkins visited the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in San Luis Obispo. After a well-received presentation focusing on the history, mission and accomplishments of STP, the congregation was invited outside for a tour of our mobile shower unit. Many people expressed interest, asked questions and wanted to know how they could help. The congregation generously donated the days offering to the STP operational costs.
January 20, 2019, Gwen Watkins, Rick and Clair Grether, Kalleen Corley, Barbara Owens, Gary and Dory Petersen, and Bill Crewe attended the Nipomo
Presbyterian Church. Rick Grether and Kalleen Corley, presented a short powerpoint and Kalleen Corley, Barbara Owens, Gary and Dory Petersen, and Bill Crewe attended the Nipomo Presbyterian Church. Rick Grether and Kalleen Corley, presented a short powerpoint and presentation emphasizing our mission, history and volunteer opportunities. The congregation toured the mobile shower unit and had an opportunity to talk to STP Board and Advisory Board members. Nipomo Presbyterian Church has generously donated and continues to donate to the operational costs of STP.
St. Barnabas Episcopal Church invited STP to set up our mobile shower unit for tours following their February 17 morning services. Gwen Watkins, Kalleen Corley, Gary and Dory Petersen and Rick and Clair Grether attended the 8 and 10 am services and provided tours and information to the congregation afterward. St. Barnabas is a generous donor to our operational costs and many people expressed interest in helping STP.
Please contact us if your church or organization would be interested in a visit from our STP Community Outreach Program.
STP at the Warming Center
In addition to providing hot showers twice a week at Peoples Kitchen in Grover Beach, Shower The People’s mobile shower unit is now available one evening a week at the South County Warming Center. The day of the week varies depending on the weather.
The Warming Center, managed by Five Cities Homeless Coalition (5CHC), is located at Hillside Church, 1935 Newport Ave., Grover Beach. It operates from November through April and is open depending on weather conditions that include a 50% chance of rain or nighttime temperatures dropping below 40 degrees.
STP’s welcoming and proficient volunteers, using our state-of-the-art mobile shower unit, are ready to provide hot showers from 5:00 to 7:00 pm to all guests who are staying overnight at the Warming Center.
Our evening presence at the Warming Center creates an additional opportunity for many of our communities’ homeless to enjoy a hot shower, especially those who are unable to shower at Peoples Kitchen. Likewise, for those who would like to volunteer but are unavailable during the day, this adds the option of volunteering in the early evening.
Volunteers help distribute supplies (we furnish towels and offer new socks, underwear, toothbrushes and toothpaste), welcome and sign up guests, and clean shower stalls between showers. The best part of being a volunteer, however, is witnessing the reaction of the guests when they have finished their shower: there are big smiles, lots of “That was awesome!” and “I feel like a new person!”
We are grateful that Shower The People has the opportunity to serve the homeless population of San Luis Obispo County and we continue to be inspired and challenged by our motto, “Changing lives, one shower at a time.”
(Shower the People is in need of donations of clean undergarments and socks of all sizes, for our guests to put on fresh after their shower. We also need basic toiletries; combs, razors, toothbrushes, small toothpastes. We do not accept individual soaps and shampoos. Please contact us before purchasing items to donate.)