CLACKAMAS COUNTY, OR (KPTV) - A nonprofit that serves those in need in Clackamas County is taking its outreach one step further by helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
LoveOne's focus has been helping neighborhoods in need in a variety of ways for about nine years, and when the pandemic exposed a new need, the nonprofit quickly expanded to meet it.
The nonprofit provides laundry services, hygiene items, and food to people who need them in Oregon City, Milwaukie, Molalla, and soon Sandy. It now provides showers as well.
LoveOne Executive Director Brandi Johnson says the temporary closure of public restrooms, gyms and other shower programs during the pandemic exposed the need for running water and soap.
"Folks were showing up having not been able to wash their hands with soap and water for multiple weeks at a time. It was towards the end of March, early April, where we had a few neighbors who showed up and they thought that maybe they had gangrene. On their hands they had cuts and sores that just looked terrible. Another person came and showed me a spider bite that he had gotten but couldn't clean and he ended up carving it out of his arm with a pocket knife," Johnson said.
She says they immediately set up hand washing stations at laundry events, and that sparked the idea of a mobile shower cart.
With the help of the community and fundraising, they were able to get their own cart to bring to events, where they also try to connect people with other services.
Johnson says providing a basic need - like a shower - can make all the difference.
"Whether that's showers, whether that's being able to provide hygiene supplies or just a friendly smile, we're there to build those relationships and give people hope," Johnson said.
The Oregon Health Authority says the hygiene support LoveOne provides helps reduce COVID-19 transmission.
The next mobile shower event is at Milner Veterinary Hospital in Oregon City on May 2 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
For more information about upcoming events and how you can help, visit www.loveonecommunity.org.