KINGSPORT, Tenn. - 325 children in Kingsport City Schools come from homeless families and one organization is now reaching out to help those families who are struggling.
It's called The Oasis and their looking to empower women through love, laughter and laundry. They want a safe place for low-income women and their children to come take showers, get hair cuts and do laundry.
"Our service here is that they are able to do two loads of laundry per visit and it costs them 25 cents," says Dianne Blachowski.
And that 25 cents includes washing, drying, soap and bleach.
Volunteer Dianne Miller says they'll always need donations and more volunteers but the biggest thing a person can do to help is provide fellowship.
"If you can volunteer once a week, bi-weekly, once a month, I mean that's a blessing," says Miller.
And the founder of The Oasis Kermit Addington tells News 5 it's a blessing for him to help get this ministry started.
"The uniqueness is that we're filling a gap. There is nobody else in Kingsport that's reaching out to the people that we're reaching out to and providing these services," says Addington.
Volunteer Dianne Blachowski says there's a bigger need for this service than people think.
"There's quite a population of homeless and or really low income people living in situations that are not good," says Blachowski.
And that's why The Oasis thinks they can turn these numbers around and give women and their families a fresh start. It's a stepping stone to get people back on track but it requires other people in the community to give back.
"But the biggest thing they can [do] is just be supportive of the people in this community who are vulnerable and who need their help," adds Addington.
Addington tells News 5 they've modeled their services off of a similar ministry in Johnson City.
Starting Monday, The Oasis will be open Monday through Friday from 9 A.M. to noon.
Volunteers and donations are always needed.
You can visit The Oasis' website at www.facebook.com/oasisofkingsport.