Sky and water meet to help Adelaide’s homeless

23-10-2017

Sky and water meet to help Adelaide’s homeless

SA Water has become homeless charity Orange Sky Australia's first South Australian location sponsor, helping deliver free laundry and social support services to people living on the streets.

Using a special van named Peggy - which has two 10 kilogram washers and dryers that can get through 20 kilograms of washing an hour - Orange Sky has been cleaning clothes across Adelaide since March this year.

The new support from SA Water will cover $10,000 of Peggy's running costs, and allow Orange Sky to focus on serving the community.

The sponsorship also has the potential to enable the charity to expand their South Australian fleet to include a new ensuite shower van.

SA Water's Chief Executive, Roch Cheroux, said homelessness was an issue that every individual and every organisation can take steps to tackle.

"By pooling our skills and resources, we can work together to help people, who for a range of reasons have found themselves facing hard times, to have better access to some of the basics," Roch said.

"SA Water provides safe, clean drinking water and wastewater services to over 1.6 million South Australians, and when we have a home, we tend to take these services for granted.

Mr Cheroux said supporting South Australians was central to everything SA Water does.

"Our customers come from all walks of life and need different things from us at different times.

"Orange Sky aligns with our values and helps us support a disadvantaged segment of the community that can't always easily access our safe, clean water."

The brainchild of Lucas Patchett and Nick Marchesi, Orange Sky started on the streets of Brisbane in 2014 and provided the world's first free, mobile laundry service to people in the homeless community using customised vans.  

Since then it has been rolled out across Australia and the service has been extended to include free mobile showers in some urban centres such as Brisbane and Melbourne.

"The six orange chairs in Orange Sky’s vans represent the opportunity for our volunteers to engage in genuine and non-judgemental conversations with people that might be doing it tough," said Nick Marchesi, Orange Sky Australia Co-founder.

"It is organisations like SA water that help us to keep our vans on the street supporting these conversations and at the same time providing a much needed service.

"Orange Sky is proud to be part of a number of amazing services collaborating to support our friends on the street in Adelaide.  

"It is only through strong partnerships that we can positively connect communities all over Australia," Nick said.

From its launch over three years ago, Orange Sky has inspired 1100 volunteers to complete 3467 laundry washes for homeless people and clock up 4743 hours of positive and genuine conversations with members of the community who are doing it tough.

As part of the agreement to work together, SA Water staff will be able to volunteer as an Orange Sky team member in non-work time.

For more information about Orange Sky visit OrangeSkylaundry.com.au

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