God’s Bathhouse offers mobile showers, clean clothes and essentials for people in need
Service on wheels bring fresh start, dignity to homeless in Volusia County
VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A Volusia County couple’s mission started with their vision to help the homeless community offering them a fresh start.
The Glass family packed up the truck Tuesday after a long day serving the homeless community in Daytona Beach. Elgia Glass says he beat cancer in 2014, and God spoke to him -- telling him to create mobile showers for the homeless.
"Sometimes you go to the convenience store and see a homeless man holding a child and people say they stink. People talk about them. Why not help them," said Elgia.
Eligia and Elizabeth Glass family operated God’s Bathhouse out of a donated truck.
In 2014, he searched for a truck or RV that could fit a couple of bathrooms inside. He found a listing for a work truck online and paid the owner $500. Elgia said the owner was a retired plumber and after a couple of days, he returned the money and offered to help renovate the truck.
With some help from family, friends and community members, God's Bathhouse came to life. An ordinary work truck was converted to a working bathroom with two showers, two toilets and sinks. It's run by a generator and water tanks. God's Bathhouse sets up shop in communities across Volusia County five days a week.
“Everyone out there is not a dead-beat," Elgia Glass said. "Some are just comfortable living in that environment, but really it touches our heart when there are people out there due to bad circumstances like divorce or losing a job. They’re out there struggling to make ends meet.”
Elgia says the mobile bathroom facility has given hundreds of homeless people some dignity. They also provide essentials like soap, toothbrushes, combs and shaving products. Each visitor receives fresh, new clothing to change in to. Elgia Glass cleans and sanitizes each shower after it’s used.
The Glass family says they don’t have much. While they receive assistance from the community, some of the funding comes out of pocket.
“We’re just doing God’s will. You have to have a compassion for people to do this. It’s not a job for us, but we look forward to it every day when we can get up and bless people. Love them unconditionally,” said Elizabeth Glass.
In 2019 there were a reported 745 homeless residents in Volusia County, according to the Volusia-Flagler County Coalition for the Homeless.
The couple is hoping to roll out more mobile facilities like God’s Bathhouse with the community’s help. The Glass family hopes they can get volunteers and sponsors to help donate funds to get more bathhouse trucks on the street.
“To see the smile on their face," Elgia Glass said. “To see them leave here with dignity, some get a job and come back and thank us. It’s a good feeling.”
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