Soap Chips


October 2014


This is journal about a concept God placed on my heart over a year ago. I am not going to say I had an ephifoney or how it came to pass but suffice to say it did.

At first I was excited as I am in all new ideas. That enthusiasm faded and rekindled and faded. Today it is strong and beginning to take on a life of its own.

At first I researched how to do it by going to the web. I was struck by how few of these are out there. When I say these I am referring to portable shower units to help homeless folks get clean.

Sidebar – I am not sure what God has in store for me of this concept but I pray it is His will and what I am writing today will be a road map for others to learn and use to help others.

The web was helpful and informative. I viewed videos of homeless folks getting free haircuts from Joe the Barber on CT. I saw where Lava Mae was just getting started. There were videos on how folks have rigged up cheap temporary showers in abandoned bldgs. and the list goes on.

I then started to cruise the web for used portable showers. I ran across a used one in Minnesota being sold by a guy who had sold his rental business and wanted to sell the unit separate. I spoke to him about my concept and he was amazed at the proposed use. It was shortly after that that I again began to become disenfranchised. 6 months passed and no interest.

And then one day not long ago I heard the call again to act. It was not a loud shout but an ongoing drone of tidbits to act. It was a thought or a comment or a reading or a conversation.

I checked on the availability of the used unit. It was still available except the Seller wanted to see if a rental shop may want to buy it. I took that as a sign that God was going to bless or not bless this action. On October 1st, 2014 Chip called and noted the other folks wanted it but only if he could finance the sale. He was not interested and said it was mine if I wanted it.

New 4 unit shower units cost a minimum of $33,000. He was asking $26,000. He said he would take $23,500. I offered him that if he would donate back to MINO (501C3 I created a few years back, funny how it really is coming into use now, all the paperwork is done) $3,500 for a net price of $20K. HE said he had to think about it. Again, a turning point for me if he said no deal. He called today (10/6/14) and said we had a deal.

Way back when I reached out to several folks of net worth seeking advice and money. The advice was free and plentiful. The donations were non-existent except for one guy, Rick Reuter. Rick and I had worked together in the past. Well to be honest I worked for him when he would buy buildings to further his company, Power Mechanical. At some point our religious beliefs collided. I reached out to Rick because I felt even if he could not help me financially he had the expertise and wherewithal to build a portable unit.

Rick is a very busy man. He noted after many weeks and much research by himself and some employees that he could buy one cheaper than he could make one. So, he volunteered to match me dollar for dollar up to $25,000 if I wanted to proceed.

So today after I basically agreed with the Seller I felt like we were on the right road. I was worried about Rick though as I have been calling and emailing him for input and confirmation of his involvement. I was starting to get worried. He called and not only put my heart at rest about the money but confirmed there are several folks in his organization who want to get involved. He also put my heart at rest that he has folks who will go and get the machine. How cool is that?

Oh, that brings to mind specifics. How will I tow this thing? I have 2001 Tundra I bought for $3,800 just to get around. Prayerfully it will be a start to do the job.

Specifics – will this idea work? I spent some time meeting with local providers of services to homeless folks. Some responses were warm some not so much. One prominent service provider said it was a bad idea. When I asked him why he noted I was enabling them. I responded wasn’t he doing the same thing by providing food and clothing. He had no response. Others were more helpful. I spoke to the head of the JCOC, an ocean front church group that feeds and helps the homeless and the list goes on. The bottom line is not much in the way of warm and fuzzy. Maybe that is why I lost a little steam.

So when the steam came back I spent a Saturday morning meeting true homeless folks. I spoke to two and kind of spoke to another. The two I spoke to said it would work great. The third said no interest due to access to a Church facility for $10 per month.

So as of today we are making progress. More to follow. God is good and has a plan. Amen!