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  • Jack H. Bender


The First United Methodist Church of Holland, in partnership with Community Action House, hosts Refresh, a program of “Hygiene and Hope.” Shower facilities are made available on Tuesday mornings from 9am to noon for those experiencing homelessness, with more days and times to be added. Two showers can be running at a time and clients are allotted a half hour to “refresh.” Clients appreciate the program, with one saying, “I feel human again” after the half hour.

During Refresh times, clients can also connect with other service providers such as a staff member from the Holland Free Clinic. Free access to wi-fi is available. Refresh is also a place to cool down or warm up. A full breakfast is provided during Refresh’s hours. Haircuts are available the last service day of the month as well as mail services. (If you are sleeping in your car, what exactly is your address? Where might a tax return or important document be sent?) Undergarments and personal hygiene items are also available.

When visiting, first impressions are very positive. The first thing you see is good signage. Next, you are warmly greeted at the door. Sponsors understand the power of hospitality. You’re then encouraged to sign up for a shower time and told about all of the services that are available.

The church is looking to upgrade their water heater. Donations anyone? Volunteers are essential to running this program and, with plans to expand service hours, volunteers are even more in demand. Contact Dan Unekis at 616 392 2368, ext. 106, or email If you want to check out Refresh in person, seek out Dan or Angela after arrival.

First United Methodist Church is located at 57 W. 10thStreet. Churches that display a deep call for social justice are an inspiration to both individuals and other churches and FUMC is a fine example.


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