by Ithaca Laundry
The number of people living in the streets of Athens is on the rise, while at the same time the existing services which take care of the homeless rarely deal with their cleanliness issues.
The initiative Ithaca Laundry has to do with converting a van into a mobile unit for washing and drying the clothes of the homeless for free. The mobile nature of the van allows the Ithaca Laundry team to reach out and serve many people living in the streets of Athens who cannot leave their spots in the city unattended. In addition it allows it to keep its operational costs low since it relieves it of rent and similar costs.
By helping homeless people maintain their cleanliness, Ithaca Laundry aims to help them regain their dignity and self-esteem, while it has already allocated responsibilities of running the service to the beneficiaries themselves. Networking and synergies are essential for the effective function of Ithaca Laundry. It has collaborated with structures such as City of Athens' Reception & Solidarity Center and established connections with other solidarity focused groups within the regular activity One Stop at the kiosk of synAthina thus ensuring that its services are properly targeted and find suitable beneficiaries. Moreover, the group of Ithaca Laundry cooperates with volunteer street workers who offer counseling services to beneficiaries. The equipment of the van with professional machinery and its daily supplies in consumables rely solely on donations.
The Ithaca Laundry and was awarded the Social Impact Award 2015.