A downtown church that serves the homeless community of Lubbock will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday afternoon to debut their brand new restroom facilities. The bathrooms are used by those who have no where else to bathe.
Carpenter's Church, located in the 1900 block of 13th Street, has been offering free showers to the public for the past nine years. Executive Minister Chad Wheeler says the service attracts hundreds of people to the facility every week.
"To have a place where they can get a shower in the morning or get a shower in the evening when they come back is a huge help to a lot of people," Wheeler said.
Wheeler says excessive use of the facilities was leading to some major wear and tear. Ismael Carranza has been using the showers for the past year and says the restrooms were in need of repair.
"They were in very sad shape. Bad shape," Carranza said.
Carranza, and others who use the facilities, are grateful for the service. However, Wheeler says it was time for an upgrade. So, for the past month, with the help of volunteers, both Wheeler and Carranza have been working on a major overhaul.
"The bathrooms were in pretty serious disrepair so we pretty much gutted both bathrooms and showers down to the studs," Wheeler said.
From the floors, to the walls and everything in between, the bathrooms have been completely made over. It's been about $20,000 worth of work, but the cost was free to the church. Home Depot donated $10,000 worth of material for the project and Betenbough Homes donated another $10,000 in cash.
"Carpenter's Church is very special. They meet a need in this community like no one else," Holly Betenbough said.
Betenbough is the ministry director for the homebuilder. She says the decision to donate the money to Carpenter's Church was not a difficult one. Betenbough says her company is passionate about serving others and giving back to the community.
"That is where living begins and it just paints our life with color, instead of black and white," Betenbough said.
No one appreciates the generosity more than Wheeler, Carranza, and those who use the services of Carpenter's Church every day.
"It's been a lot of work by a lot of volunteers, so we really appreciate it," Wheeler said.
Wednesday's ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at Carpenter's Church at 1916 13th Street at 5:30 p.m. For more information, visit: www.carpenterslubbock.org.
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