Mark Trimmer is happy: He’s finally got someplace to wash himself besides the Ballard Library.
That place is the new Urban Rest Stop, opening this month in Ballard. It’s a place for people living on the streets to wash their clothes and take a shower.
“This library had good sinks,” said Trimmer, who lives in a car. “They took out the good sinks and put in sinks so crappy you can’t wash your hands in them. You know, if you can’t be clean, you can’t get a job."
The rest stop has washers and dryers and bathrooms and showers. If you take more than 20 minutes in the shower room, the administrators can flip a switch and your shower turns cold.
There’s a room for a nurse to examine people while their clothes are drying, because wearing dirty clothes all the time can lead to health problems.
Critics of the Urban Rest Stop have said the relatively heavy concentration of homeless services in that part of Ballard could lead to problems. A few neighbors lodged formal complaints and recommended alternative sites in a more industrial part of Ballard.
The city ultimately dismissed those complaints and allowed the place to open.
The Ballard Urban Rest Stop is having an open house from 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015.
It begins operation October 12.