Engaging with homeless people at eye-level
Orange Sky Australia is the world’s first free mobile laundry service for people experiencing homelessness – an idea founded in a Brisbane garage by two 20-year-old mates, Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett. The concept since then has inspired many other initiatives around the world.
In late 2014, the boys installed a couple of washing machines and dryers in the back of their old van and visited parks around Brisbane to wash and dry clothes for free. What started as an idea to improve hygiene standards for the 116,000 people experiencing homelessness across Australia, Nic and Lucas Patchett stumbled on something much bigger and more significant – the power of a conversation.
“The focus is on creating a safe, positive and supportive environment for people who are too often ignored or who feel disconnected from the community. Our volunteers are not social workers or experts on homelessness – they are empathetic listeners and great conversationalists.”
Orange Sky now has over 33 mobile laundry and shower services operating across Australia and New Zealand, delivering over 260 shifts across every state and territory through almost 2,000 volunteers each week. Since 2014, Orange Sky has provided friends on the street with more than 1,600,000kg of free laundry, over 17,500 warm, safe showers, and close to 300,000 hours of genuine and non-judgemental conversation.
The organization has proven to react fast when necessary. After the extreme weather events at Australia’s East Coast in Spring 2022, Orange Sky scheduled additional shifts to reach out to those who lost their homes due to the floodings.
Here you find the story behind Orange Sky:
How Orange Sky contributes to the 17 Global Goals
Clean Water and Sanitation
Orange Sky provides access to sanitation to the homeless, free of charge.
Good health and well-being
Improving both the mental and physical health of the homeless.
Building bridges between ordinary citizens and marginalized people
Sustainable Cities and Communities
Improving the livelihoods of those living in the streets
Partnerships for the goals
Engaging civil society, corporates and others outside the public welfare sector
You can access the full project assessment here:
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