Home News PICCA Speaks to Sunshine Rotary of Homelessness in Pickaway County

PICCA Speaks to Sunshine Rotary of Homelessness in Pickaway County


Circleville – PICCA directors Nick Pruitt and Fallon Kingery provided details of a recent survey of the unhoused while speaking to Sunrise Rotary club members this month. While that review showed close to 500 people living in various states
of homelessness, the real number is closer to 1,000 people.

“It’s going to get a whole lot worse before it gets better,” Pruitt said.

Pruitt and Kingery said it is up to the community to address homelessness and a lack of affordable housing in the county. A concerning trend is an increase of homelessness among people age 60 and older. Rising interest and tax rates as well as mortgages and rent are pushing a growing number of older Americans out of their homes. 

Club members also got an update on the Soap-n-Hope Mobile Hygiene unit, which the club is supporting with a $10,000 donation. A 32-foot trailer that will hold three shower stalls — including one with wheelchair access — and two over/under washer/dryer machines is ordered and expected to be delivered to PICCA by mid- to late- August.

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.