After almost a decade of hoping, planning and praying, Bowral Uniting Church is about to open the doors of a purpose-built bathroom and laundry space, which means people without access to such basic facilities can feel part of the community.
"We hope it gives them a sense of dignity, and a realisation that they're part of a community that cares for them," said Lucy Earl, Uniting Church mission development worker for Bowral and Mittagong.
Along with husband Michael Earl (who is the Bowral Uniting minister), parishioners and a number of other agencies connected with the Emergency Relief Inter-agency Meeting, Mrs Earl had long hoped to offer a shower and laundry space to homeless or financially strapped residents.
"We've had a vision to provide a facility for people who don't have access to things like that," she said.
"We started our community lunch several years ago, and then our pantry.
"We wanted people to be able to come, have a shower, put their washing on, then have lunch and get some groceries for the week."
While she said homelessness was not an obvious problem in the Southern Highlands, that didn't mean it didn't exist.
"Homelessness is a hidden problem here," she said.
"Or people might not be homeless, but maybe they don't have a washing machine, or are struggling financially."
The bathroom and laundry facility is a bright, private space filled with comforts such as towels, grooming and hygiene products, and even clothing, and is accessible for disabled users.
There is also a row of backpacks filled with basics like water bottles, toiletries and beanies, supplied through a grant from the Wingecarribee Community Assistance Scheme.
They expect to have the doors open on Mondays and Wednesdays, following its official opening this Sunday by Member for Wollondilly, Nathaniel Smith.
The facility was built with funding received from NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment - Regional Development, through their Stronger Country Communities Fund, Uniting Church in Australia and private donations.
As to what they'll call the rooms, a church statement said: "In respect for and acknowledgment of our local Indigenous peoples, we will adopt the Gundungurra phrase 'Ngura Gula' which means 'For the people'. This aligns meaningfully with our own church vision statement - a church for all people."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: