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.
In late 2014, Nic and Lucas installed a couple of washing machines and dryers in the back of an old van and visited parks around Brisbane to wash and dry clothes for free. What started as an idea to improve hygiene standards and restore dignity to people doing it tough has evolved into something much bigger and more powerful.
There is no denying the benefits of clean clothes, but the major impact of Orange Sky does not come from washers spinning or dryers tumbling. It comes from the hours of conversation that take place on six orange chairs, which are pulled out at every shift location.
Each week, all over Australia, thousands of volunteers put other parts of their life aside for a few hours to positively connect with people experiencing homelessness through genuine and non-judgemental conversation.
Orange Sky’s focus is on creating a safe, positive and supportive environment for people who are too often ignored or who feel disconnected from the community. This community is made up of people who treat others how they want to be treated.
Over the past five years, Orange Sky has also continued to evolve and innovate to support the community to recover after major events like bushfires and floods - and now as a result of COVID-19 impacts. It continues to trial new community response service models, and adapt its business to support its community.
Last updated: 02 Oct 2020