Though it can be a struggle, homeless people can typically find organizations that serve food, offer medical care and provide shelter.
But when it comes to finding a way to wash their clothes and blankets, there are often few, if any, groups that offer free cleaning services. That’s what inspired Australian friends Lucas Patchett and Nicholas Marchesi to start the country’s first mobile Laundromat for people living on the streets, the pair told BuzzFeed.
In July, the two launched Orange Sky Laundry by revamping an old white van and buying a portable generator, so they can get power in public places. They then turned to supporters who donated two washers and dryers, which allows them to wash 20 kilograms (about 44 pounds) of laundry every hour, according to 7 News Brisbane.
During the trial period, Orange Sky will operate in Brisbane five days a week in various public spaces and will source water from local parks and businesses, according to the group’s website. An estimated 300 people live on the streets in Brisbane and the organization plans to partner with local food groups, so that homeless people can get something to eat while their clothes are being washed.
They hope to operate throughout Australia by the end of 2015.
Their ultimate goal is to raise hygiene health standards and help to restore homeless people’s integrity, something that already appears to be working.
"I feel fresh," a homeless woman told 7 Brisbane News after getting her clothes washed.
Find out more about Orange Sky Laundry and how you can get involved here.