Church Provides Free Showers For the Homeless
When Pastor Mark Alt of The Bridge Church in Bradenton, Fla. asked Melinda Harris what she needed for her nonprofit organization Bring on the Ministry, she responded “mobile showers” for the homeless.
Now, the two organizations have partnered together to provide free luxury showers for the homeless population in Bradenton. Yesterday the church made an official announcement about the new endeavor.
“Well the news is out! We are so excited to announce that the shower trailer will go Live very very soon,” reads a statement on Bring on the Ministry’s Facebook page. “We are so grateful for a dream that became a reality because of Mark Alt and the Bridge Church! We are beyond excited for the endorsement and partnership! The staff at The Bridge Church have walked this journey with us and will continue!”
Harris, along with her husband Steven, created Bring on the Ministry as an organization dedicated to meeting the “…most basic needs in [its] community with a loving hand, sweet smile and a good heart.” In the past that has included going into homeless camps, taking their dirty laundry, cleaning and folding it, and bringing it back to the homeless. With the new mobile shower, they are expanding their work with the homeless with the goal of giving them hope.
“Our vision for showers is that it gives people an opportunity to feel good, find joy and find purpose,” Harris said.
The partnership between The Bridge and Bring on the Ministry seemed divinely orchestrated. After Alt inquired of Harris what she wanted, he asked her to send him a video of what she meant. To his surprise, it was a video he had seen before.
Months earlier, a friend of his who does not attend church, sent him the exact same video and suggested that the church partake in something similar.
“I asked her [Harris] to send me a video of what she wanted and it was the same exact video my friend had sent me,” Alt told the Bradenton Herald. “It definitely felt like a God thing.”
Believing this to be a God thing, Alt decided to have the church raise the $25,000 needed for the mobile shower unit, which provides 125 hot showers before it needs to be refilled. Unlike other churches, The Bridge does not collect weekly offerings. Rather, it chooses particular holidays to collect funds for a specific cause. The money for the shower came during this past Mother’s Day.
Pictures of the mobile unit hooked up to a charcoal colored pickup truck appeared on the ministry’s Facebook page. On the side of the showers are verses from Matthew 25:35-36 that accurately reflect the ministry’s mission.
“I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me.”
To learn more about the work Bring on the Ministry does, and to find out how to help with the mobile showers, you can visit their Facebook page.