Service shares the load
THINGS are looking up for the homeless in Rockingham and Kwinana, thanks to Orange Sky Laundry.
In a first for the region, the volunteer-run charity will give those in need a service where they can wash their clothes.
While the spin cycle runs, volunteers also lend their ears to those in crisis.
Orange Sky service operations manager Lisa Sprlyan has been involved since February 2016, when the first van was launched in Perth.
Ms Sprlyan said Orange Sky could complement organisations that are already helping the homeless and those in need.
“The people we help are simply thankful that we’ve taken the time to not only wash their clothes, but more importantly, taken the time to simply chat,” she said.
“Unfortunately, the general awareness of homelessness is not how we’d like it to be.
“How many times do people simply keep walking by a homeless person and ignore them as if they aren’t there?
“We need to remember they are everyday people, just like us.”
To reinforce this idea, Orange Sky calls its clients “friends”.
Ms Sprlyan said most councils were receptive to Orange Sky and even approached them to move into a location.
“Whenever we look to operate in an area, we always like to make contact with the local council in conjunction with any other organisations that can help educate us about the area and the situation around homelessness,” she said.
“Not only that, but some councils have provided us with grants to facilitate not only our laundry service, but other exciting projects that can possibly help provide jobs for the homeless.”
Ms Sprlyan said they were looking for volunteers in Kwinana, Rockingham and Armadale, to carry out the eight to 12 washes to be done during a shift and chat to their friends.
For the privacy of friends, those needing the service are encouraged to contact St Vincent de Paul or Anglicare.
Orange Sky launches in Perth South this week and they are looking for volunteers to fill shifts in Kwinana on Friday morning, Rockingham Friday midday and Armadale Wednesday mornings.