WHAT is believed to be the world’s first free mobile laundry for the homeless has made its way to the streets of Hobart.
Founded by 2016 Young Australians of the Year Nick Marchesi and Lucas Patchett, Orange Sky Laundry will provide free mobile washing and drying services to those in need at specific locations around Hobart.
“People doing it tough in Hobart can now wash and dry their clothes for free and have an opportunity to spend time with our volunteers and have a conversation,” Mr Marchesi said.
“Having clean clothes restores self-esteem and confidence, but the conversations and interaction our volunteers provide for our homeless friends is the most important thing Orange Sky Laundry offers.”
The specially-fitted laundry vans, each with its own name, feature two washing machines and clothes dryers run on generator power.
Hobart’s “Splasher” officially made its debut on Wednesday 27 July when it performed its inaugural load at Hobart City Mission, which will host the van twice a week.
Hobart City Mission chief executive officer John Stubley said having a permanent Orange Sky Laundry van service in Hobart would be “hugely beneficial” to the local homeless communities.
“At Hobart City Mission, our programs are designed to empower people – to give them a sense of purpose, dignity and self-reliance,” he said.
“That is why we are thrilled to host the Orange Sky Laundry here at our Moonah and Barrack Street stores each week.
“We know it will benefit our community members for whom cleaning clothes and bedding is difficult.”
The addition of the Hobart van will bring the Orange Sky Laundry fleet to a total of 10 vans nationally.
Mr Patchett said Splasher had already recruited some “great Hobart volunteers.”
“However, we need more to run the eight services we are looking to offer each week in Hobart,” he said.
“We’re also hoping Splasher can make some trips to Launceston through the year to provide assistance to the community there.”
Splasher will provide an initial six services each week at the following locations:
- Hobart City Mission in Barrack Street on Mondays.
- Bridgewater Neighbourhood House on Mondays.
- Hobart City Mission in Moonah on Tuesdays.
- Rokeby Neighbourhood House on Wednesdays.
- St Vincent De Paul Community Growth Centre on Thursdays.
- Gagebrook Neighbourhood House on Fridays.
For more information, visit www.orangeskylaundry.com.au
Caption: Hobart City Mission chief executive officer John Stubley, centre, with Orange Sky Laundry founders Lucas Patchett, left, and Nic Marchesi.