Orange sky announces Free Shower and Laundry Van for Hamilton

Praneeta Mahajan

Praneeta Mahajan

Hamilton, 16 November 2022

Orange sky Van (photo supplied)

As a part of the Orange sky community project, A free shower and laundry van for the homeless is set to launch in Hamilton this month.

Orange Sky launched its first service in New Zealand in 2018 and now has four vans available across the country – two in Auckland and one each in Wellington and Christchurch.

Being a not-for-profit organisation providing people experiencing homelessness with access to free laundry services, warm showers and genuine, non-judgmental conversation, across New Zealand, their mission is to positively connect communities by providing a safe, positive and supportive environment for people who are often ignored or feel disconnected from their community.

All orange sky vans feature two washing machines and two dryers, including washing powder, as well as a shower with personal care products.

The announcement of the launch of Orange Sky’s fifth New Zealand service comes after the team visited Hamilton in January this year as part of a national tour to find out where else their shower and laundry vans are needed.

Orange Sky has been funded through public and community donations as well as businesses including insurance company QBE and poverty relief organisation Hugo Charitable Trust.

Orange Sky’s programme manager of community impact, Lisa Sprlyan, says the team identified Hamilton as a crucial community to support. She said that “Working hand-in-hand with the community, we are excited to launch a new Orange Sky hybrid laundry and shower van to support our friends doing it tough in Hamilton.”

The organisation’s senior fundraising manager, Katie Hart, who visited Hamilton with the van, says: “Based on the 2018 Severe Housing Deprivation Report, out of the 41,412 people classified as severely housing deprived across New Zealand, 3.6 per cent of the population reside within Hamilton – third behind Auckland and Christchurch.”

Orange sky recently commissioned a study to help shine a light on the challenges faced by Kiwis today, which revealed that a growing number of New Zealanders are struggling to make ends meet.

Eddie Uini and the team at Orange sky (Website photo)

As per Orange sky’s study,  More than 41,000 Kiwis were experiencing homelessness at the time of the2018 Census, but new research has exposed the vulnerability of many New Zealanders in 2021 and a growing number of people who are doing it tough. More than one in five (21%) Kiwis have personally experienced homelessness, while 19% know someone who has. Worryingly, half (51%) of New Zealanders say they struggle to make ends meet at least once a year, with one in five (20%) struggling to make ends meet every week.

Everybody needs a connection says Eddie Uini, who has spearheaded the project in New Zealand. “These past few years have provided many challenges and hardships for kiwis all across the country. At Orange Sky, it’s not just been about providing laundry and shower services, but finding ways for our community to stay connected.”

Once a service has been established in an area, the team builds a routine shift at the same locations at the same time every week.

For the completely volunteer-run operation, Orange Sky is still looking for volunteers. You don’t need to be a social worker or expert in homelessness to put your name forward, you just need to be a great conversationalist looking to make a difference in your community.

Currently, Orange Sky operates three shifts a week alongside Auckland City Mission, which supports thousands of people doing it tough every year through unique and specialised health and social services.

Auckland City Mission staff regularly sit down on six orange chairs and share a conversation with volunteers and friends. It’s an incredible way to show that they are passionate about connecting people in a coordinated way.

Praneeta Mahajan is an Indian Newslink reporter based in Hamilton.

Share this story

Related Stories

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Indian Newslink

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement

Previous slide
Next slide

Advertisement