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Construction Begins on PICCA Mobile Hygiene Unit to Serve the Underserved in Pickaway County


CIRCLEVILLE, OHIO (April 2, 2024) – The Pickaway County Community Action Organization (PICCA) is making strides towards enhancing community support with the construction of Soap-N-Hope, a mobile hygiene unit aimed at assisting the unhoused, those in need, and the community during emergencies.

Scheduled to commence operations in late summer or early fall, the Soap-N-Hope project was given the green light by PICCA’s board of directors. The initiative involves contracting with an Illinois-based company to construct a 32-foot-long trailer equipped with three shower stalls, including one handicapped-accessible stall, and two stacked washer/dryer units to maximize space efficiency. Construction and delivery are estimated to take approximately eight weeks.

Becky Hammond, Executive Director of PICCA, highlighted the importance of Soap-N-Hope, stating that the mobile unit will initially operate for several hours a day, a couple of days a week, making scheduled stops at predetermined locations to provide bathing and laundry services to those in need. Additionally, the unit will be deployed to serve the community following severe weather events or other disasters.

“Access to basic hygiene facilities not only promotes personal health but also boosts self-esteem,” Hammond emphasized. “Soap-N-Hope will serve as a gateway to inform individuals about the various programs available to enhance their living conditions and facilitate their journey towards self-reliance.”

Funded by an $85,000 grant from the city of Circleville’s opioid settlement fund, PICCA has partnered with Comforts of Home, Inc. in Aurora, Ill., to construct the mobile hygiene unit. The organization has also received generous donations from Circleville Sunrise Rotary, Judy and Rick Clifton, and several individuals to cover operating costs estimated at $60,000 annually. These expenses include hiring a driver who will also oversee the unit’s management.

In addition to ongoing operational support, PICCA is actively seeking grants and donations to procure a super-duty pick-up truck to transport the trailer, Hammond added. Individuals interested in contributing to the initiative are encouraged to contact PICCA at (740) 477-1655.

The construction of the Soap-N-Hope mobile hygiene unit marks a significant step forward in PICCA’s mission to provide vital support services to the community, underscoring the organization’s commitment to fostering a healthier and more resilient community for all.