A customised van that will provide free mobile laundry and shower services for rough sleepers across Auckland launched in Onehunga this morning.
Operated by Australian charity organisation Orange Sky, the van will help the homeless community through laundry, showers and conversation.
Orange Sky co-founders, Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett, were named 2016 Young Australians of the Year for their work in establishing the organisation.
Nic Marchesi says he is excited Orange Sky has come to New Zealand.
“Since Orange Sky kicked off in October 2014, we have been continually blown away by the support we’ve received. It’s an honour and privilege to now have our first ever international van,” he said.
The Orange Sky laundry and shower service is partly funded by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.
Housing and Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford says while support services are working hard to reduce homelessness and get rooves over people’s heads, the laundry service goes some way to bringing rough sleepers one of the simple things we take for granted.
“While superficially the service is about clean clothes and showers, the main benefits are the social interactions, the conversations and the opportunity for social services to reach out to rough sleepers. It continues to build our picture of homelessness and helps us shape the support systems we need on the ground.”
Orange Sky will be operated by New Zealanders and is committed to working alongside all of the other providers in Auckland. It will also work in with the Housing First approach operating in Auckland and rolling out in other centres around the country.
Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – The new Ministry is the Government’s lead advisor on housing and urban development, delivering the Government’s housing and urban development programme to help create thriving communities, make room for growth in our urban centres, and end homelessness.
Orange Sky – Orange Sky operates 27 vans throughout Australia generating more than 7200 kilograms of laundry. Orange Sky volunteers have engaged in more than 112,000 hours of conversations to date, helping to challenge the perception of homelessness and positively connect communities.