Transformed emission station provides homeless with shower and restroom access

By: Erin Freeman | Lynnwood Times Staff

The city of Lynnwood’s former Washington State Motor Vehicle Emission Inspection Station has temporarily transformed into a hygiene facility, providing access to showers and restrooms to the homeless population during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The need was huge in response to COVID-19…we’ve been critical to people’s hygiene needs without a doubt,” said Jason Dunbar, Service Coordinator of the Jean Kim Foundation. “All of a sudden every business closes down and there’s no place use the restroom or shower.” 

In early April, the Jean Kim Foundation, a nonprofit working to disrupt the cycle of homelessness through education, announced a collective effort with the City of Lynnwood, the Verdant Health Commission, and multiple other Lynnwood agencies to provide restroom and shower services to individuals experiencing homelessness. The hygiene center is also providing clients with clothing, toiletries, and sack lunches. Since opening, they have added dual hot water tanks, as well as a commercial washer and dryer to expand service capacity. 

“It is a wonderful partnership,” commented Lynnwood Council President and Jean Kim Foundation Board Member and volunteer Christine Frizzell. 

Amberlee Bell, the Jean Kim Foundation’s hygiene center Volunteer Intern, says that the new service station is a huge relief to her and others experiencing homelessness in Lynnwood. When the COVID-19 crisis hit, public access to businesses and in-person weekly accessible hygiene service stations hosted at churches and other organizations were suspended. Bell notes that one of her top concerns at the beginning of the pandemic was potentially not having access to a restroom or shower. 

“It was a huge impact because there was nowhere to shower. To have this available, it’s a huge blessing,” said Bell. “It’s an even bigger blessing to be a part of it.”

The service has been immensely popular, with the hygiene center accommodating 15 and 40 showers a day with 40 to 50 regular clients, according to Dunbar and Bell. 

“The people who come here are just so thankful to shower and be able to feel clean and prosperous for their day,” remarked Bell. 

The hygiene center services are available to individuals seven days a week at 19726 64th Ave W, Lynnwood, WA 98036. The restrooms are accessible from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and showers are available from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. To learn more about the Jean Kim Foundation, visit http://www.jeankimfoundation.org/index.html

Erin Freeman

I graduated from Washington State University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in English with a specialization in rhetoric and professional writing. I also received a minor in political science. I joined the Lynnwood Times in February of 2020. To me, community newspapers affirm a sense of community by connecting people through the coverage of local stories and current events.

Erin Freeman has 197 posts and counting. See all posts by Erin Freeman

2 thoughts on “Transformed emission station provides homeless with shower and restroom access

  • November 11, 2021 at 1:50 AM
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    Hello my name is Judith I am looking for my son Jon Daniel Gilliam date of birth9 -16-1984 He came up from Louisiana after being released from the hospital and was coming to meet me his mother in Seattle on my way to meet him my phone dropped and broke we lost contact and it was unable to reach him, he was hospitalized after my mother passed she meant everything to him he’s also been hospitalized and had some memory issues , he’s from Kenai Alaska
    Physical description listed below
    Height 5.9
    Weight between 165/170 lbs
    Hair auburn eyes hazel . He may think no one is looking for him, but that is not the case I thought I had messaged all the shelters that I guess I had not received a message that he may have been at your shelter recently I’m attaching photos and emailing them to you

    As well as I’ve checked hospitals medical examiner’s office etc anyting possibly everything I could I’ve been looking for him for over a year he may feel abandoned and may be confused I’m not remember lots of things he’s been twice hospitalized

    Reply
  • June 19, 2020 at 9:16 PM
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    The people who go there are drug addicts, do your working poor clean no drugs have a nice car your hated on. The sinks are never clean there. The only thing the staff does spray with bleach, so very few will even wipe it down. Clean the toilets Please. I go to Meadowbrook it’s clean, nice, and safe to park my van, without a tweekers taking inventory it hating me, because I WORK! The dude who lives in the trailer will steal your stuff in a minute. When I was twenty or thirty I was in the military brand new car traveled. When your young you have opportunity, but you have to work for it NOT STEAL IT, just saying. If you work a van dweller go to Meadowbrook, it’s tweekers free.

    Reply

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