Williamstown’s Robert Adams knows what life is like for many of the people who drop in for support.
The former street kid and founder of Helping Hand Cafe at Williamstown Church of Christ is extending his reach, trialling a mobile laundry service.
“Usually, it’s people that are homeless or on the street or just not able to do their own washing,” Mr Adams said. “Now they’re coming here to get their own washing done and dried.”
Orange Sky operates the laundry service, which runs from 11am-1pm to coincide with the cafe’s free meal program.
Since 2005, the cafe has provided free lunch every Tuesday for people who are disadvantaged, sleeping rough, pensioners on their own or anyone who can’t afford a decent meal.
Orange Sky’s Tess Melville said more volunteers were being sought to make the mobile laundry at Williamstown a permanent weekly fixture.
“We’ve been in Melbourne for nearly four years but about two weeks ago we got a new van to service the north west of Melbourne,” she said. “We’ve partnered with Helping Hand Cafe to set up side-by-side with their meal program so people can come, get a free meal, get their washing done, have a chat.
“I think we probably underestimate what it means to have clean clothes on … it’s just giving people a bit of dignity back.
“Our volunteers are probably our strongest assets on these vans … they sit and chat and create genuine connections with these people”
The church is at 119 Douglas Parade, Williamstown. To volunteer visit https://orangesky.org.au/