Addressing Hygiene Needs in the Southern Peninsula: SPLaSh Program Upgrade

Homelessness has been a major problem in the Southern Peninsula of Australia for many years. Rising rental prices and a severe lack of housing stock in the area has pushed people out onto the streets.  

SPLaSH 2 Photo courtesy of District 201 V3 Lions

“It is truly heartbreaking to witness the hardships faced by those without homes in our area. It is crucial for us to take action and do what we can for those who need help,” says Past District Governor (PDG) Steve Boyce. Southern Peninsula Community Support (SPCS) estimates there are between 800 and 900 homeless people in the region. SPCS started the Southern Peninsula Laundry and Shower program (SPLaSh), in cooperation with the local government, to support the growing homeless population. 

SPLaSh offers shower and laundry facilities to anyone experiencing homelessness or severe poverty. Due to a major increase in participation and limitations on sewage capacity, the space was no longer able to meet demand. Moreover, for individuals who were not within walking distance of the building, the poor public transportation system in the peninsula made it nearly impossible to visit. 

District 201-V3 Lions proposed to upgrade SPLaSh with a Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) Matching Grant of US$12,613. The grant purchased a mobile shower and laundry unit. This mobile unit provides several important advantages, including resolving the sewage capacity issue allowing more showers per session and expanding the service area. With the upgraded unit, Lions projected 360 people enjoyed a refreshing shower and clean clothes in 2023.  

While these services are crucial, the SPLaSh program offers an immense amount of support and care to those in need. Lions and other volunteers engage with beneficiaries and form deep connections with them while also providing meals. As Lions build these connections, they can direct individuals and families to mental health, housing, medical and legal resources. This fosters relationships and builds community. 

SPLaSH 3 Photo courtesy of District 201 V3 Lions

PDG Steve Boyce says, “There are a number of people who were previously classified as homeless, who have since found stable accommodation or moved to temporary options, but who continue to attend for the social reasons and benefit from the material aid and food relief SPLaSh offers.”  

Lions around the world seek out transformative ways to serve millions of people who lack access to resources that many of us take for granted, such as food and laundry. Through LCIF grants like these, Lions strengthen their communities and improve lives. The relationships Lions build along the way allow them to continue assessing local needs and expand their service impact to reshape the world one person at a time. 

Learn more about LCIF Matching Grants and how they can support Lions’ humanitarian service.