Community leaders look to provide homeless with showers - NBC40.net

Community leaders look to provide homeless with showers

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BRIDGETON -

After making it through a winter of record cold, Bridgeton’s homeless population now faces a whole new set of weather worries.

"In the summer it's the heat, you know? Trying to stay out of the heat, you know? And having something cold to drink,” said Tom Miller, who is homeless.

"We're talking about heat. You're talking about sweat. You're talking about no place to get relief, said Robin Weinstein, pastor at Bethany Grace Community Church.

That’s why Weinstein want to find a place where the homeless can go to clean up and cool off.

"So the thought was, if we can give people a shower once a week for, you know we open it up the facility for 3 hours , we would have volunteers there, we would give away clothes,” said Weinstein.

"That would be great, you know, somebody, someplace to take a shower and maybe have a meal, you know?” said Miller, who added that he often goes days at a time without a meal.

The Bridgeton Board of Education shot down a plan that would let the homeless shower at Jim Hursey Memorial Stadium.

In a letter to Pastor Weinstein, the school business administrator and board secretary said:

"After reviewing the insurance, security and custodial factors related to this request, the committee determined that it would not be able to accommodate you at this time."

Bob Balicki, warden at the Cumberland County Jail, sees the issue as a matter of dollars and cents.

"It's expensive if you're just gonna leave people out on the street and not do anything. If you even forget the humane part of it, it's expensive because they keep coming to jail,” said Balicki, "I don't know, maybe the jail at some point we can assist in some way, with providing space for people to get cleaned up."

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