Lawton church helps homeless stay healthy with hand-washing station

Published: Apr. 8, 2020 at 6:05 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - One of the best ways to keep yourself safe from COVID-19 is keeping your hands clean, but the resources to do so are not always available to homeless people. To help those in need, a Lawton church is lending a helping hand.

After seeing an article online about a former homeless man giving back to those in need through hand-washing stations, Paul Martin and others from the Unitarian Universalist Church of Lawton were inspired to lend a hand.

“As Unitarian Universalists, we have our shared values with seven principles and our first one is the inherent worth and dignity of every person," said Martin, a UUCL member. "So, we’re living that out, expressing it in our actions.”

The church purchased a hand-washing station that will be placed outside their facility to ensure the homeless have the resource to stay healthy.

“We all know that one of the primary ways to stop the spread of COVID is from hand-washing," said Joanne Butler, president of UUCL. "So, yet again, the most vulnerable members of our community are the ones that are suffering the most.”

Martin said everyone is trying to keep themselves safe during the coronavirus, leaving the homeless overlooked.

“Everybody’s going into hunker down mode, you know, thinking about what they need to do for themselves," said Martin. "But our homeless population are the most vulnerable people in our community, and we’re trying to do something for them.”

Butler said the cost of the hand-washing station is minuscule for the luxury of giving someone a place to wash their hands.

“If we can alleviate suffering in any way in just our little corner of the world, then we will," said Butler. "And if the other churches in the area can buy into this and do the same thing, it’s a cheap, inexpensive way to save lives. That’s literally what it’s doing. It’s saving lives.”

The hand-washing station is scheduled to be delivered by the end of this week. Martin said they hope to have it running by this weekend.

Martin and Butler said the hand-washing station will be a permanent addition to their property, and they will eventually add a food pantry next to it.

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