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Orange Sky Aotearoa announces permanent free laundry service in South Auckland

Orange Sky Aotearoa – a not-for-profit organisation providing free mobile laundry and shower services to people experiencing homelessness and hardship – has announced New Zealand’s first permanent Orange Sky laundry pod in partnership with BBM FoodShare, to support locals in the South Auckland community.

The free service, stationed outside BBM FoodShare in Wiri, will commence in late March and will be available to the community Monday to Friday, from 9:30am – 11:30am and 12:00pm – 2:00pm.

The Orange Sky laundry pod is a standalone structure fitted with two washing machines and two dryers. It will be operated by a team of local Orange Sky volunteers with support from BBM FoodShare kaimahi.

Orange Sky Senior Impact Manager Kat Doughty said the addition of a laundry pod to Orange Sky’s existing Auckland services will help to manage the overwhelming need for support in the region.

“We have seen a huge demand from people who need our help in the last few years, particularly as people continue to feel the pinch from rising living costs,” said Doughty.

“We know from our research and community consultation that there is an overwhelming need for this type of support in the South Auckland community, and we are proud to partner with BBM FoodShare to address this need together.”

According to 2018 Census data, 43.8% of New Zealanders deemed severely housing deprived reside in Auckland. This includes those without shelter and people living in temporary accommodation, shared accommodation, and uninhabitable housing.

BBM Program and Foodshare Founder David Letele says the partnership with Orange Sky feels like a natural evolution to the BBM service offering and will strengthen the support that can be given to those in need in the community.

“Having clean clothes on your back is a basic human right, but when you’re already doing it tough financially, an extra load of washing on the power bill or the cost of a laundromat can be enough to tip you over.

“We know times are tough, so whether it’s a nutritious food parcel or a free load of washing, everybody deserves the right and dignity to be clean and fed,” Letele added.

In addition to the new laundry pod, Orange Sky has two mobile laundry vans which service the greater Auckland community, one of which offers warm showers; as well as an indoor laundromat style facility located at the Auckland City Mission. The charity also operates free mobile laundry and shower vans in Hamilton, Wellington – including a recently launched service in Porirua – and Christchurch.

The service is supported by more than 250 volunteers and, since launching, has completed more than 17,000 loads of washing, provided 8,200 warm showers and participated in more than 27,000 hours of genuine, non-judgemental conversation with the community.

If you would like to support Orange Sky – either through a donation or by lending a hand to volunteer – head to orangesky.org.nz to find out how you can help.

 

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