SHARE Community and White Pony Express are pleased to announce that on September 29, 2020, the “Oasis Project,” designed to brighten and uplift the lives of unsheltered neighbors in our community, will be launched in Antioch, CA. Among other services, Oasis will include a 2-unit Mobile Shower, and a Clothing & Care Closet, which will be stocked with high quality clothes that guests can choose from.
To celebrate the opening of Oasis, a short ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at the Community Outreach Center, located at 525 E. 18th Street in Antioch.
Initially, Oasis will be stationed at the Community Outreach Center and operated on Tuesdays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The Mobile Shower, which is ADA certified, will be the only operating shower unit for the unhoused in East Contra Costa County. It will be free for the public to use with no questions asked. Also, there will be no charge for any of the other services offered by Oasis.
Even though several partners are involved, the project is called “Oasis” to give it a unified identity. During its operation, Oasis will include:
- Mobile showers with bathrooms, organized by SHARE, that any guest is free to use.
- A “Clothing & Care Closet” operated by White Pony Express (WPE) that will provide clothes that guests can select from free of charge.
- Medical referral services provided by Contra Costa Health Services’ Coordinated Outreach Referral and Engagement team (C.O.R.E.), and
- Free haircuts offered by licensed hair stylists.
“The opening of the Oasis Project on September 29 has been a dream of mine for a long time, and it makes me extremely happy that the project is now ready to begin elevating the lives of our unsheltered neighbors,” remarked Ricka Davis-Sheard, Co-Founder of SHARE Community. “We have been working closely with the nonprofit LavaMaex in preparation for our launch, who has helped us with everything from in-depth training to troubleshooting issues with our Shower unit. We have learned from an agency that has been around for years and which consistently provides a high level of care for their guests.”
Prior to its acquisition by SHARE, the Mobile Shower had been owned by WPE. WPE volunteer Peter Brooks spent over two years diligently looking for a place to set up and operate the Mobile Shower, and in the process contacted numerous groups.
Finally, Brooks met Davis-Sheard at SHARE and was immediately impressed by her earnestness to help the unsheltered. Says Brooks, “Ricka was the light at the end of the tunnel of my long search. She saw the Mobile Shower as a perfect fit for the work SHARE wanted to do in East County. What she had in mind was exactly what WPE had in mind.”
As the project evolved, Brooks suggested that the group of services offered with the Mobile Shower be called the Oasis Project. “My hope is that the whole experience, for people in the ‘desert’ of hard urban homelessness, will be like travelers in the Sahara finding relief in an oasis.”
WPE operates the White Pony General Store which distributes high quality clothing, shoes, books, and games to those in need. “For Oasis, our General Store will operate a well-organized, inviting ‘Clothing & Care Closet’ so that guests can make selections based on their unique tastes and needs,” says Eve Birge, Executive Director of WPE. “The Closet will have items like shirts, jeans, jackets, shoes, undergarments, and other items useful to our unhoused neighbors. WPE will treat those who visit Oasis as our special guests and support them with love and dignity, offering only our best.”
Concludes Davis-Sheard, “We want people to emerge from Oasis looking brand-new and transformed.”
The hope is that if Oasis is successful at its initial location, it can move to other locations across the County to serve the needs of the unhoused population.
About SHARE Community
SHARE Community was co-founded by Ricka Davis-Sheard and Vincent Vidriales in 2019. Its mission is to share hope, abundance, resources and encouragement with members of the community and the organizations who serve them by creating ways for people to work together toward positive change. In addition to mobile showers,
SHARE Community serves East Contra Costa County through its community programs Adopt-a-Block and Adopt-a-Senior-Home. These programs provide much needed care and attention to underserved neighborhoods and seniors.
For more information about SHARE, visit: www.thesharecommunity.com
About White Pony Express
White Pony Express, headquartered in Pleasant Hill, CA and founded by Dr. Carol Weyland Conner in 2013, operates a Food Rescue Program which picks up quality surplus food every day from supermarkets, restaurants, and farmers markets and then delivers that food—free of charge—to shelters and churches that feed the hungry. Since its founding in 2013, WPE has delivered over twelve and a half million pounds of fresh food. WPE also has a General Store that has distributed over 500,000 items of high-quality clothing, toys, and books free to the underserved.
For more information on WPE, visit www.whiteponyexpress.org