Orange Sky Aotearoa – a not-for-profit providing free mobile laundry and shower services to people experiencing homelessness or hardship – is today announcing the expansion of its Wellington service into Porirua, in partnership with Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira and the Porirua City Council.
Orange Sky’s laundry and shower van Hugo, which has been supporting the Wellington community since 2019, will be used to extend this service into Porirua from February 12 2024, with shifts to be run by Orange Sky volunteers and supported by kaimahi from Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira.
The van is equipped with two washing machines, two dryers and a hot shower, and will be available to Porirua locals every Monday from 10:30am – 12:30pm.
Orange Sky Aotearoa Senior Impact Manager Kat Doughty welcomes the expansion of the service into Porirua as a significant milestone that will effectively address the rising demand for support in the community.
“The last few years have proven really challenging for many people, and we’ve witnessed an overwhelming demand for our support and services across the motu.
“As part of our mission to support the nation’s most vulnerable communities, we undertake thorough research and community consultation to help us identify where our support is needed most.
“We know from this research that there is a pressing need in Porirua and are delighted that, with the invaluable support from Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira and the Porirua City Council, we can now bring this much-needed service to locals doing it tough in the Porirua community.”
According to 2018 Census data, 1.6% of those deemed severely housing deprived, across all territorial authorities in New Zealand, reside in Porirua. This includes those without shelter and people living in temporary accommodation, shared accommodation, and uninhabitable housing.
Te Rūnanga o Toa Rangatira Chief Operations Officer Jennie Smeaton says “We support and welcome any opportunity that helps us advance the wellbeing of our community, particularly for those more vulnerable whānau.”
Porirua City Council Mayor Anita Baker says any measures that tackle the growing problem of homelessness has got her support.
“We know that the numbers of people sleeping rough in our city are going up, so I applaud Orange Sky and Ngāti Toa for making this van appear in Porirua.
“If it leads to wraparound services being involved to help our most vulnerable community members too, all the better.”
Since launching in 2018, Orange Sky has completed more than 19,200 loads of washing, provided 10,276 hot showers and engaged in more than 29,900 hours of genuine, non-judgemental kōrero with the community.
Today, Orange Sky operates five vans across Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch, and is staffed by more than 446 volunteers who lend an ear and offer genuine conversation in a safe, positive and supportive environment to friends in need.
The Porirua service officially commences from Monday February 12 and will operate shifts every Monday from 10:30am – 12:30pm at 10 Hagley Street, Porirua City Centre.
If you would like to support Orange Sky – either through a donation or by lending a hand to volunteer – head to orangesky.org.nz to find out how you can help.