TAMPA, Fla. — Imagine transforming someone’s life with a drop of water. That’s what Tampa native Marcia Hall, her husband Bruce, and a dedicated team of volunteers do every month. But, they need help to keep it going.
Hall started Mr. Bubblez back in 2019. They provide portable showers for people experiencing homelessness. It’s the first of its kind in Tampa.
“We go to where they are, that way they don’t have to try to get to us,” Hall said. “That’s the point of being portable.”
Hall has worked with non-profits for more than 20 years. She came up with the idea for Mr. Bubblez about six years ago after meeting a homeless woman who needed to take a shower. She told her that’s all she wanted, but Hall said she couldn’t help her.
“Just the idea of a woman that could not refresh herself on a daily basis got to me,” he said. “I’m a woman and I know how I feel. That motivated me to find a solution.”
Thanks to volunteers, donations, and organizations like Feeding Tampa Bay and Metropolitan Ministries, Hall and her husband were able to bring her idea to life. They started out going to multiple locations several times a month. They also give out healthcare hygiene bags with food, face masks, clothes, and more.
“We want them to feel like we see and we respect them,” said Bruce.
Then the pandemic hit and it all had to come to a stop.
They’ve been able to start going back out, but only once a month and to one location, Trinity Cafe. That’s due to the pandemic. However, Hall said, with the rising cost of living the need has increased.
“in January we did an event and we showered 20 people in three hours,” she said. “That’s a lot of people in three hours.”
Hall said they are in need of more funding, volunteers, and more locations. A big help would be a van. Right now they rent out their van which they use to go to their locations and transport the showers.
“But that’s an extra cost that makes it difficult to do everything we need to do for the people we help,” she said.