HARLINGEN — Logos Community Church started its ministry eight years ago on 77 Sunshine Strip but decided to move to Downtown Harlingen right across from La Placita, where many homeless people gather.
Jeff Neal, pastor at Logos, decided it was necessary to open an outside bathroom after seeing there was a need.
Logos is located at 602 W. Van Buren, and Neal said the location was chosen on purpose.
“We wanted to be in the center of the town, and specifically where things happen. And when this building opened up we were excited to be across from the park,” he said.
“We wanted to be where they were,” Neal said.
Before being a church, the building used to host a famous haunted house called the “Rotting Flesh Factory.”
The church has been at this location since 2019 and because homeless people gather around the park across from it, the church has been able to do gatherings for them.
Neal said they invite people for coffee inside the building several mornings a week, and on Tuesdays, they take tacos to the park and host a Bible study.
Neal added they have done other things, such as provide clothing and food, but he realized Logos needed to find that one thing that was missing.
“We do hygiene packs and a few socks and underwear, but we started asking them what they need and several said they cannot get showers,” he said.
“We thought, ‘what if we build a shower?’ and we finally did,” Neal said.
The shower is available on Wednesdays from 8 to 9 a.m.
There are different time slots for men and women, with 10 minutes per person to use.
“We wanted to give them a chance to feel good about themselves,” he said.
The church began to build the shower around April and was ready by May 1.
Neal said the idea had been lingering for about six to eight months.
“The ones who have come have really appreciated it, and one man said he had not showered in a year and a half. And it looked like he felt better. That is the goal, do something we did not see downtown,” he said. “Try to help them in any way we can.”
Neal said if more people appear to be interested in taking a shower at the bathroom then time slots will be expanded.
Currently, word-of-mouth is used to let people know this is available. Neal said it has become popular, which proved there was a need for it.
Another idea Logos has in mind is to provide an area with a washer and dryer where people can drop off their laundry and get their clothes clean.
“We wanted to be where the people are and the need was, and we don’t see people in trouble as projects but as people. We want to help where we can,” he said.