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Men’s Shower Ministry

Men's showers are held every Thursday at Trinity Center, made possible by the generous support of Tarrytown United Methodist Church, which was recognized this year at the Barbara Jordan Event.

Edwin Williams, who faithfully volunteers at the showers every week, delivered words that left a profound impact during the event and deserved to be shared beyond those in attendance.


"A shower is something we take for granted. A shower at the Trinity Center is more than a shower. It is a break from a world where there are very few people that you can trust. It is a clean start, a reset. When the neighbors come into the Center, they put their names on the list if they want a shower. One of the 3 shower hosts will bring them from the main room of the Center through the closed doors to the hall outside the showers.

As we help the neighbor pick out pants, socks, underwear, a shirt, and maybe a coat or a sweater, often his countenance changes. He realizes he does not have to be defensive and the volunteers all want to help him. I have seen multiple volunteers get down on the floor to help a neighbor put on their socks and shoes.

I want to tell you about how the shower ministry began. When Jenny Monahan became the Minister in charge of missions at Tarrytown UMC, she was looking to grow the service that was already being done by church members.

Gaye Polan has worked in the women’s clothing closet for 11 years and is passionate about helping Trinity serve its neighbors. Gaye told Jenny about how the women from St. Mark’s have hosted showers for women for many years. Gaye pointed out to Jenny that the majority of the neighbors are men and our church should host showers for the men.

Since I was a long-time breakfast volunteer at Trinity, Jenny asked me if I would commit to serving in the men’s shower ministry. I said yes. Jenny asked Elizabeth Hoffman, a seminary student serving at Tarrytown if she would help start this ministry as a project required for her graduation. Elizabeth studied how the St. Mark’s women hosted the showers and assembled all the supplies to host showers.

Jan, who is the Bookkeeper at our Church watches for sales of jeans, and her husband, Mark, is a regular volunteer. Some of the other shower ministry volunteers are here tonight. Mike is a regular volunteer and Ken is a volunteer. Also, David, the pastor from Texas Wesley at UT serves each month.

The suffering of living on the street is not something that most people understand. I can’t watch a weather forecast that includes rain, cold or sweltering heat without thinking of our neighbors’ suffering. The shower provides a little relief from this suffering. Hosting showers on Thursday is an intense morning and I am tired when it is over, but this is only one day a week for me.

I am in awe of the staff, who provide radical hospitality every day. The staff and volunteers at Trinity are some of the people I admire most in this world. I am just so grateful to be a small part of the Trinity Center. I want to use our neighbors’ words to express my gratitude for your gifts to the Trinity Center.

“God bless you.” “Thank you.” “Thank you all for all that you do. I really appreciate it.” “Thank you all very much. God bless you all.” Edwin.

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