CINCINNATI—Standard Textile Co., Inc., a global leader in the healthcare and hospitality textile markets, announced it is launching a national program to combat homelessness. The company is partnering with four non-profit organizations across the United States that provide mobile shower services to people living either on the streets or in insufficient housing, with a goal of supporting 80,000 showers by the end of 2021.
For 80 years, Standard Textile has been partnering with organizations to help bring comfort to those in need. Through product donations, financial support, and volunteerism, the company has continually supported efforts to make a meaningful impact in the communities where employees work, live, and raise their families. To honor the company’s legacy of inspiring care, comfort, and change in communities, it is expanding its commitment by launching “Standard Textile Cares.”
“Ending homelessness requires a comprehensive approach,” said Gary Heiman, Standard Textile’s President and CEO. “It begins by treating those experiencing homelessness with dignity and respect which are basic values that our partner organizations offer. And it begins with basic essentials such as a safe place to bathe and a soft towel and blanket to provide comfort. These simple acts have the potential of changing outcomes and creating a better future for those in need.”
A Mammoth Problem
It is estimated that 150 million people are homeless worldwide, according to UN-Habitat, an organization that monitors homelessness globally. In the United States, approximately half a million individuals experience homelessness each day, and that number is increasing due to the pandemic crisis.
“It takes a village to do this work, and we are honored that Standard Textile is partnering with us,” said Kris Kepler, CEO of LavaMaeX. “The towels, washcloths, and blankets they have donated will help our unhoused guests stay clean and warm this winter. The LavaMaeX staff and I are incredibly grateful for their commitment to helping restore dignity to our unhoused neighbors.”
Empowering and promoting the social and economic inclusion of all is a core value for Standard Textile. The company was founded in 1940 by Charles Heiman who escaped the Dachau concentration camp. Heiman sought refuge in Cincinnati, where he and his family began sewing pillowcases in their third-floor apartment and delivered them to local inns and hospitals. As the need for textiles grew, Charles hired other refugees seeking sanctuary in Cincinnati.
“We applaud the efforts of organizations such as LavaMaeX, Shower Up, Streetside Showers, and Hope Thru Soap,” said Gary Heiman. “Our mission is to create bed and bath products that provide comfort to all who use our products. We are pleased that we can extend this value to assisting individuals during a time in their lives when care and comfort are needed the most.”