Shower rooms, laundry room renovated at Broadway Christian Parish

Published: Oct. 25, 2023 at 6:35 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Some major changes are on the way at Broadway Christian Parish in South Bend, as new showers and a new laundry room are being built for the city’s homeless population — just in time for the winter season.

16 News Now got a look at the changes made at the ministry and also spoke with someone who was once homeless to learn exactly how these changes benefit those experiencing homelessness.

Clara Ross at one point in her life experienced homelessness with her four children. She now works at Broadway Christian Parish as a greeter and has been coming to the church for the past 15 years.

“Unfortunately, when you are homeless, your needs are not met immediately,” Ross said. “But when you walk through that door, your needs are met immediately. And if that doesn’t take weight off your shoulders, and if that doesn’t make you happy for just a moment. Because while you’re here from the hours of 8 until 10:30, you are a normal human being.”

At Broadway Christian Parish, you are treated like family.

“We try to make this the most hospitable place possible where people can feel community and feel family,” said Steve Cain, interim pastor for Broadway Christian Parish.

To further help the homeless, the ministry has recently renovated their shower room from only one room to three shower rooms. Two are handicap and wheelchair accessible. In addition, they also added a laundry room with two sets of washer and dryers for small loads of laundry.

“This is a combination of prayers of work and lots of dreams for over 10 years probably, so that we can double and even triple our capacity to offer showers,” Cain said. “Also, double our capacity for laundry facilities. Which our clients — our guests — really need this. This is important thing to be able to come off the street, get a shower and get themselves cared for.”

Something like Ross can show to those she now serves.

“You have no idea how important it is to feel like a normal human being,” she said. “I can take a shower; I can wash my clothes. I can eat something; I can get more food. I can get things that I may not have money to buy right now as something as simple as toothpaste, deodorant, clothes. Something that can be solved immediately. So, Broadway is more than a blessing. It is necessary and it is an anchor that might not be glorified but it should be.”

Broadway Christian Parish wants to say thank you to the community for their donations. Broadway also wants to thank volunteers, and if you know someone that would like to volunteer that can help with legal services, you’re asked to contact the ministry.

On Saturday, Broadway Christian Parish is hosting an open house on from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., where you will be able to check out their hospitality room, the showers and speak to members if you are interested in volunteering.

Broadway Christian Parish is located at 1412 Carroll Street in South Bend.