Fedup Ministries now runs a full-time WashUp program, a Mobile Shower Trailer that provides free showers to the Washtenaw homeless. This program runs from Monday to Thursday at Ypsilanti Freighthouse located at 100 Market Pl, Ypsilanti.
Throughout 2023, FedUp Ministries spent most of the year creating new programs to assist the Washtenaw homeless population. The non-profit organization, which began in 2021 providing meals to food-insecure and housing-insecure communities, found itself searching for a new home after leaving its longtime residency at Ann Arbor’s Zion Lutheran Church in October 2023.
According to Rev. Anna Taylor-McCants, FedUp’s Executive Director, she decided it was best to focus on the organization full-time.
However, while the organization searches for a new place to call home for the new year, FedUp wants to start the new year on the right foot, beginning its WashUp mobile shower service. According to the FedUp website, this program is to help those with a lack of bathing resources receive a secure and private space to clean themselves.
Details of the program state the facility will hold four mobile bathrooms fully equipped with hot and cold water that’s open, free and available to anyone.
Taylor-McCants called the program a much-needed resource to support Washtenaw’s homeless population.
“This laundry trailer and the shower trailer provides clean water to a community where people do not always have access,” Taylor-McCants said. “It’s a full bath, toilet, sink, mirror and a shower. It’s big enough for a parent and two kids, and there’s a little mansion where you can sit and get dressed. It’s a lot nicer than people expect.”
The new WashUp service will run throughout the weekdays from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. until the beginning of March. Taylor-McCants said they expect to shower around ten people per day.
“Our organization is about supporting the community in whatever it needs,” Taylor-McCants said. “For these showers, it was a need that we have seen expressed by people who camp. In Ypsi, there is nowhere to shower. You can go to the church at St. Luke’s Lutheran, which is closer to Ann Arbor, but we wanted to provide something in Ypsilanti that is the same service that our homeless community in Ann Arbor gets to receive. It’s about dignity, need and the community trying to meet that in a way that is authentic to our faith tradition.”
For FedUp, while they’re excited to kick off the service, the organization is in desperate need of volunteers and donations to support its programs, Taylor-McCants said.
“We need resources and human power. Finding people who want to hook up the trailer and drive the trailer would be great to have,” Taylor-McCants said. “It is a busy time for showers because people without shower access congregate together. We are the only people that can bring showers. The shower trailer is taking up more energy, and we are not slowing down.”
While the program is scheduled to end in March, Taylor-McCants says the organization is looking for a new home after leaving Zion Lutheran Church. She says the new home will allow FedUp to run the shower facility full-time.
“In April, we will reassess what the need is and where our location is,” Taylor-McCants said. “Our goal: hopefully, the shower trailer will be at our place and our facility where we can plug it in, and people can still shower, or it just may not be at the freight house anymore.”
Taylor-McCants said a new Ypsilanti location will allow the organization to begin its long-awaited cafe and continue the current WashUp program beyond March. However, at the moment, while we’re in the thick of the colder months, the pastor said that she hopes anyone can provide clothing donations to help the homeless fight off the freezing weather.
FedUp accepts all clothing donations, focusing on undergarments such as t-shirts, underwear, socks and towels for their WashUp program.
The help of volunteers is always welcome. However, Taylor-McCants admits she still aspires to receive assistance and meet rap legend Eminem, who has a history of making charitable donations.
“If there is anyone with a building that wants to change the world with us, starting right here in this little community. Please reach out to me,” Taylor-McCants said. “If anyone has any way they think can help or any ideas or leads for us, we are always open to collaborating.”
For more information feel free to reach out to Taylor-McCants and FedUp Ministries at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Antonio Cooper is a freelance journalist from Detroit, Michigan. His coverage of music festivals and interviews with local celebrities appeared in The E-Current Magazine, The Detroit Metro Times, XXL Magazine, RichMagDigital, The Ann Arbor Observer, and Pop Magazine.