It is an unfortunate truth of life, people do judge others based on their appearance, and in most cases, they do so negatively. For homeless people, how they appear to others has a significant impact on how they are treated.
Because of a lack of work, job loss, or other hardships, finding employment can be critical for those who find themselves without a place to call home. While their circumstance may prevent them from presenting themselves for job applications or interviews, laundromats nationwide help change a feeling of disgust to one of love.
With morale boosted and hopes high, cleanliness elevates one’s self-confidence and maintains health. This shows the importance of allowing anyone access to affordable laundry services.
What is Laundry Love?
The Laundry Love initiative, a community-based effort that began in 2003, strives to assist the homeless and those experiencing financial trouble by partnering with laundromats to help them get their laundry cleaned at significantly lower costs. With the premise that laundromats are also social places to meet new people, Laundry Love tries to promote community spirit and togetherness through its operations. On average, the majority of Laundry Love partner laundromats provide over 700 loads of laundry every month to those in need.
Partnered Laundromats can be found on the Laundry Love website, displaying a map of participating laundromats in specific locations and available dates and times. Laundry Love Laundromats work with local shelters and homeless agencies all year long. Laundry Love is a free service available to anyone who requires bedding and laundry cleaned with proper equipment. Those in need can come to the laundromat and do their laundry at scheduled times throughout the week or month.
Detergent is provided through donations, and staff is on hand to assist when needed. The map on the website lists the dates and times of Laundry Love’s availability. N. Ft. Myers LaundroMart, currently our area’s only participating Laundry Love location, hosts theirs every fourth Tuesday of the month. Participants check-in when they come, and when it is their turn to use the machines, volunteers will run the machines for them. Providing everyone with a chance to load the laundry, monitoring is present at all times to ensure efficient progress throughout the day.
Clean clothes are a necessity for everyone to feel worthwhile and seen. Unwashed bedding and clothing can serve as a breeding ground for parasites and disease-causing bacteria and should be washed and sanitized correctly. This is especially true for people already suffering from poor nutrition or health. It also creates emotional strain and has a detrimental impact on one’s self-esteem to wear unwashed clothes. When money is an issue, doing laundry quickly becomes a luxury, as you concern yourself with other day-to-day needs. Even though a couple of dollars per load may not seem like much, it may quickly mount up over time, especially for families with multiple laundry loads.
Laundry Love strives to alleviate these responsibilities by assisting those in need to remain clean and feel good about their appearance. If you are experiencing homelessness or financial hardship, come to our laundromat on the 4th Tuesday of the month and get your laundry done. If you are a community partner who would like to contribute to our efforts by donating or volunteering, please get in touch with us to find out more.