The Oasis mobile shower trailer has two units — one ADA compliant — both with a shower, sink and toilet. It is available Tuesdays to anyone who needs it and is currently the only operating shower for the unhoused in East County. Other similar services have been suspended since shelter-in-place orders limited all activities in March.
Antioch resident Ricka Davis-Sheard and Brentwood resident Vince Vidriales cofounded S.H.A.R.E. Community and brought in the mobile shower to serve their neighbors and bring dignity to the unhoused.
“This is a way for us to provide a basic service, to get them clean, to restore dignity to our friends,” said Vidriales. “We also have licensed haircutters — one for men, one for women — and White Pony Express is providing clothing.”
He and Davis-Sheard met several years ago while doing volunteer work in Antioch. Davis-Sheard shared her idea of founding a nonprofit to allow for more services and Vidriales said he jumped right in to help her. Both were inspired to work with Antioch’s unsheltered because they had seen family members suffer from homelessness.
“I come from a family that has put an emphasis on caring for others,” Davis-Sheard said, adding her sister struggled with homelessness for a time. “That really solidified for me the need for caring for others. It’s not that far away from us. When I see people in need, I look at them as my brothers and sisters, because it easily could be and has been before.”
Davis-Sheard noted the shower was brought in after extensive conversations with the unsheltered to see what kind of services they felt in need of. She wanted to ensure SHARE Community was serving the community in a way in needed to be served. When the overwhelming response was positive, the search for a shower was on.
“White Pony Express had a shower unit sitting in their parking lot for over two years,” Vidriales said. “When we started doing surveys and asking our clientele what other services can we provide, showers were at the top of the lost. We established a partnership with White Pony and we were able to obtain the unit to provide the service to our local unhoused community.”
The duo and their fellow volunteers take time away from family and work to run the shower themselves. They scrupulously clean it between guests with a hospital grade disinfectant to protect the vulnerable. Each guest is treated with respect so they have the opportunity to feel heard, and the county’s CORE team is present each week to offer other services to those in need.
S.H.A.R.E. Community’s shower project is currently unfunded, and both volunteers and donations of time, money, clothing, towels and toiletries are welcome. Training is available for anyone interested in serving. S.H.A.R.E. Community has other volunteer opportunities as well, including their adopt-a-senior and adopt-a-block programs.
“We want to provide people a way to serve their community in a way they can,” said Davis-Sheard. “We really try to emphasize the collaboration that needs to happen for our community to serve one another. It’s about providing opportunities for everyone in the community.”
The Oasis mobile shower unit is available Tuesdays at 10 a.m. at the Community Outreach Center, 525 E. 18th St., in Antioch. For more information, to donate, or to see how you can help, call 925-237-1115, visit www.thesharecommunity.com or email email@example.com.
White Pony Express is an independent nonprofit working to fight poverty and distribute food those in need. For more information, visit www.whiteponyexpress.org.