Preparing for a job interview: Free shower and laundry services

free shower, job interviews
By Matt Kinshella, Communications Director

You’re tense. You’re looking over your resume. You’re rehearsing your life story in your head. And in a minute you are going to face one of our society’s cruelest rituals – the job interview.

We’ve all been there. But for many, the anxiety of this ritual is intensified because they wake up without a place to take a shower or do laundry. And this might be one of the precious few chances they have to get out of homelessness.

As one caller said: “you can’t look for work when you smell bad.”

One of the many overlooked steps in a person’s transition out of homelessness is the simple fact that when you are sleeping outside – access to showers and laundry are a luxury. But that luxury becomes a necessity when you are looking for work.

Mary Hinds, one of our amazing Community Information Specialists, approached me with this problem many homeless folks face.

I asked Mary, what resources are there for homeless people – especially men who have fewer shelter options -- looking to take a free or low-cost shower and do some laundry. She scoured our database of more than 4,500 programs (we also have a print version for sale!) and she found several options in Clackamas, Lane, Multnomah and Washington counties.

The best option: Free Shower and laundry

A shower is nice, but not if you have to get into dirty clothes. These resources have the best of both worlds. But, availability is often times limited.

Clackamas County
Father’s Heart Street Ministry - 8899 SE Jannsen Rd Clackamas, OR 97015
Showers: Open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10:30AM - 2:30PM
Laundry is first come first serve.

Lane County
ST. VINCENT DE PAUL - FIRST PLACE FAMILY CENTER
1995 Amazon Pkwy, Eugene, OR 97405
Monday-Friday 8am-5pm
Available at Eugene Service Station. Serves families and children under 18.

EUGENE MISSION 1542 W 1st Ave, Eugene, OR 97402
Men – Everyday 1-4pm Women – Everyday 7am-4pm
First come, first serve. 50 cents.

ST. VINCENT DE PAUL - EUGENE SERVICE STATION 450 Hwy 99 N, Eugene, OR 97402
Men and Women without children – Everyday 8am-7pm

Washington County
OPEN DOOR COUNSELING CENTER
34420 SW Tualatin Valley Highway, Hillsboro, OR 97123
Monday-Friday 9am-4pm; Bathroom Facilities - laundry

The second best option: Shower and laundry voucher

Some organizations provide on-site shower options, but do not have laundry facilities. Luckily, they may have vouchers available to do laundry off-site.

Multnomah County
JOIN
1435 NE 81st Street, Suite 100, Portland, OR 97213
Monday-Friday 10am-3pm

ST FRANCIS DINING HALL
330 SE 11th Avenue, Portland, OR 97214
Monday and Thursday 1pm-3:30pm

The early morning free shower option

Many interviews happen in the morning or early afternoon. If a bathing facility doesn’t open until later it may be too late. For someone who relies on public transportation, a shower the day before isn’t as helpful.

The Julia West House at 522 SW 13th Street in Portland opens its doors at 6:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday. These close at 1:00 p.m.

Other bathing facilities

Some locations have only bathing options available. These locations are still an important option for maintaining hygiene.

Clackamas County
OREGON CITY POOL - 1211 Jackson Street, Oregon City, OR 97045
(503) 657-8273 No Standard Hours
People who are needing a shower may access the pool showers during hours of operation (call ahead), for 50 cent fee.

Multnomah County
TRANSITION PROJECTS INC
475 NW Glisan Street, Portland, OR 97209
Sign up 30 minutes before start time.
Men’s Showers: Monday-Friday begining at 1pm
Women’s Showers: Monday-Friday beginging at 8:45am

Deschutes County
SHEPHERD'S HOUSE
1854 NE Division Street, Bend, OR 97701
Men Only: Monday-Friday 6am-8pm

Lane County
SOARING HOPE SPRINGFIELD CHURCH COMPASSIONATE MINISTRY
1761 E St, Springfield, OR 97477
Tuesday/Thursday/Friday 10am-3pm; Wednesday 11am-3pm and 4pm-6pm; Sunday 9:30am-10:30am; Closed Saturday and Monday

SUISLAW OUTREACH SERVICES (SOS)
1576 W 12th Street, Florence, OR 97439
Monday-Friday 10am-4pm

Washington County
HOMEPLATE
494 East Main Street, Hillsboro, OR 97123
Youth 11-24 years of age, Thursday 6-8pm

So there you have it, some resources for people who want to find showers and laundry. If we missed anything please let us know in the comment section.

And thanks to Mary Hinds and Deb Kallen on our staff for doing a lot of research for this post!

211info provides a simple, clear way to connect Oregonians and Southwest Washingtonians to the community resources they need. You can dial 211 toll-free if you live in 211info service areas or you can visit www.211info.org to search more than 4,500 programs across 1,200 areas of need.