Shawn McAnerin, operations manager at Kuu-us Crisis Line Society and Delano Lake from Salvation Army (not pictured) oversee the mobile shower unit in a city-owned parking lot across from Dry Creek Park on Wednesday, June 15, 2022. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

Shawn McAnerin, operations manager at Kuu-us Crisis Line Society and Delano Lake from Salvation Army (not pictured) oversee the mobile shower unit in a city-owned parking lot across from Dry Creek Park on Wednesday, June 15, 2022. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

QUINN’S QUIPS: Mobile showers get first official workout by Dry Creek Park

Salvation Army, Kuu-us Crisis Line Society team up to bring showers to vulnerable population

It’s taken a few weeks, a couple of false starts and replacement of a major piece of equipment, but the Salvation Army’s mobile showers were finally put to use in Port Alberni last week.

The showers are a temporary solution to give those without homes a place to get clean.

The mobile shower unit arrived in April from the Salvation Army in Victoria, but encountered a problem during testing, and the hot water tank needed to be replaced. A grant from the Alberni Valley Community Foundation covered the cost, which was just over $5000, Salvation Army spokesperson Colin Minions said. Salvation Army is partnering with Kuu-us Crisis Line Society to manage the showers. Two to four staff members will be on hand while people are using the showers for safety, and to assist with providing people a change of clean clothes.

The Kuu-us mobile outreach team was present last Wednesday to offer dry footwear and snacks to anyone who asked for them. The Salvation Army’s food truck will be used to haul the shower trailer, and will be stocked with food for anyone who needs a meal.

The hot water tank can accommodate six showers before it has to be refilled, Kuu-us operations manager Shawn McAnerin explained. with the city’s sani-station nearby, the process will take about an hour to move the trailers, refill the tank, warm it up and move the rig back to the parking lot.

The first night saw four people take advantage of the showers. To people who have easy access to a shower in their home, this may seem like nothing. To those in the city’s vulnerable population, however, having a shower is a big deal. People “seem happy” to have the showers so readily available, McAnerin said. Word of mouth and a steady schedule will hopefully draw more.

While the Bread of Life on Third Avenue has its shower, the mobile unit will complement it with after-hours service, he added. Bringing in mobile porta-potties would complete the service.

Someday McAnerin would like to give the mobile shower unit a more permanent home on the Kuu-us Crisis Line Society property at Johnston Road and Adelaide Street.

Staff intend to have the showers out at the Dry Creek Park location on Wednesday and Sunday nights.



susie.quinn@albernivalleynews.com

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Susie Quinn is the Alberni Valley News editor.

Alberni ValleyHousing and HomelessnessPort Alberni