Over 5,000 Showers Given!
In January of 2021 Shower the People hit the benchmark of giving 5,000 showers to the homeless in our community. This year we will continue to provide showers at our four current sites and hope to expand to an additional site in the near future. Stay tuned!
Volunteer Spotlight: Aracelli Astorga
Shower the People’s newest Board member, Aracelli Astorga, is Branch Manager of the San Luis Obispo Library and is Coordinating Librarian of SLO County’s Coastal Region which includes San Luis Obispo, Los Osos, Morro Bay and Cayucos Libraries.
Aracelli strongly believes in being welcoming and inclusive: in her work, in her service to others, in life. This core principle guides her policies and interactions with clients at the library, and shapes her commitment to those served by Shower the People.
Aracelli learned about Shower the People (STP) in July 2019, and contacted Gwen Watkins, STP’s Board President. They shared an interest in creating a new shower site in San Luis and the library, centrally located, seemed ideal. After getting approval from city and county, STP started offering showers at the SLO library later that summer – and has been there ever since. The library is one of STP’s busiest locations, showering 17 – 25 guests every Sunday.
Aracelli says she “truly appreciates Shower the People and all they do,” and wanted to be a part of their effort to bring hot showers to the unhoused throughout the county. Like her commitment to the library, her goal is to make services available to everyone. She says she is “honored to be on the board,” and the feeling is mutual. Aracelli is a hard worker, preferring to work behind the scenes. She brings fresh perspective, energy, and valuable expertise to the Board.
Operations Coordinator Update
As we start seeing light at the end of the COVID tunnel, we continue to still be COVID vigilant. We use the same highly effective shower sprays, wear masks and hazmat suits, and maintain social distances. Since our restart in June with the new protocols we have experienced no difficulties. Our systems must be working! We are also seeing more interested volunteers, probably because vaccinations are becoming more widespread and people are feeling safer. We will have a returning driver now that he’s had the jabs!
Our trailer and van continue to operate flawlessly with some credit going to Rich Trailers, the manufacturer, who has sent us many maintenance parts for free! We appreciate them as well as Arroyo Grande Chevrolet who does our routine van maintenance at a reduced rate. Our equipment is splendid!
Volunteer Coordinator Update
Since November of 2020 we have welcomed several dedicated and kind volunteers to our work crew operating our Shower the People sites. Join me in appreciating: Steve Brown and Mike VanBelleghem, drivers; Dave Bernhardt, cleaner; and Pam Garcia, Judy Staley and Pamela Werth, intake volunteers.
We have also had a steady crew of veteran volunteers and our guests are always grateful. When it is deemed safe for us all to gather in person, we look forward to a volunteer appreciation event. Any questions, drop me a line and I will respond. Many thanks! email@example.com
Sharing Our “Shower the People” Story
“HelpSLO” is a Facebook group that, since the early days of the Covid epidemic, has been a forum for people to coordinate grassroots people-helping-people projects in San Luis Obispo County (https://www.facebook.com/groups/helpslo/). When I saw Rebecca Juretic’s fantastic video highlighting Shower the People’s work at the SLO City Library, I shared it with the HelpSLO group.I was delighted at the positive responses (107 “likes,” 15 comments).
“This is so important,” said one commenter. “Imagine having no access to a real shower. Especially needed with the pandemic and the increase in homelessness we are experiencing.”
Another wrote: “What a needed service! How uplifting it must be to get clean and get some basic essentials. Kudos to those who help bring this about!”