New Midlands facility gives showers, clean clothes to homeless - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

New Midlands facility gives showers, clean clothes to homeless

By Brandi Cummings - bio | email

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Some take for granted things like clean clothes and taking a shower, but the Midlands' homeless population does not. The Clean of Heart facility is a first of its kind, helping the area's homeless with basic necessities that some often overlook.

Basic human needs are not afforded to everyone. Now, at least two of those needs can be fulfilled. "We've seen the need for years," said Mary Trivisonno.

Mary Trivisonno is the Regional Coordinator for the Catholic Charities of the Midlands. Her group runs Clean of Heart, a laundry and shower facility for the Midlands' homeless population.

The idea, modeled after a program in Anderson, incorporates Bible scripture. "It comes from the beatitudes," said Trivisonno. "'Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God.'"

The new facility has only been up and running for a month. "Everybody is given a basket, we do a load of laundry," said Trivisonno. "The men an woman who come in are also given the option of taking a shower."

With two showers, all but one donated washer and dryer plus the help of volunteers, the Catholic Charities is helping others clean up while putting a stop to a growing problem. "Unfortunately, people throw their clothing away," said Trivisonno. "They bathe in places not mean for bathing."

Now that has changed, and homeless men and women have another option. Once at Clean of Heart, patrons are given toiletries, coffee and reading material while they wait.

Trivisonno says the reception has been great. "I don't think anybody who has come and taken a shower hasn't walked out and said, 'God that's great, that the best shower,' she said.

A small act making a big difference for those who lack things we sometimes take for granted.

For now, Clean of Heart is only open three days a week and by appointment only. They are hosting an open house which ends at 6:30pm Tuesday.

You may contact Clean of Heart at (803) 254-9776.

Copyright 2011 WIS. All rights reserved.

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