Ser­vice shares the load

Weekend Courier - - Front Page - Rachel Fen­ner

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.

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