First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Covington, KY has responded to the needs of their community with a new ministry called the Relief Ministry. First Christian Church’s long-standing ministry providing six meals a week to food insecure and unhoused members of their community, like many ministries during the pandemic, was forced to pivot. Instead of serving meals in the building they continued to meet the needs of their community by shifting to curbside pick-up. This shift revealed a new gap.
As First Christian Church observed, during the pandemic people experiencing homelessness have had fewer places to use the restroom as businesses limited indoor access. Members of their own community resorted to using places that did not offer privacy, creating health hazards. When Rev. Tracy Siegman became aware of the challenge of access to sanitary bathrooms, she and the leadership at First Christian Church knew they wanted to be a part of a solution that would help their community thrive.
First Christian Church Covington came up with a solution that was affordable. They added a portable restroom named Porta John 3:16 to their parking lot for their unhoused friends to use. First Christian Church’s unhoused neighbors now have a place to relieve themselves in private, sanitary conditions. The Relief Ministry creates accessible support for their neighbors.
As Sterling Staggs, elder at First Christian Church Covington says, “Everyone deserves a place to go to the restroom with dignity.”