Young Entrepreneurs Trial Shower Van
25 August 2016 at 4:15 pm
Two young Brisbane entrepreneurs, who were honoured as 2016 Young Australians of the Year for developing the world’s first free mobile laundry for the homeless, are now trialling a shower van in their home state.
The social enterprise founders of Orange Sky Laundry, Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett launched a trial of the free mobile shower van for the homeless in Brisbane on Thursday.
“Following the success of our 10 Orange Sky laundry vans, we have launched this pilot shower van,” the pair said on their website.
“This prototype shower van has been entirely funded by the Melbourne-based Shine On Foundation.
“After an initial trial period in Brisbane with the first prototype, the van’s final washing place will be in Melbourne. Queensland Urban Utilities have committed to funding the trial in Brisbane, with the hope of inspiring further funding to secure a second shower van in Brisbane permanently.
“Our key aim has always been to connect the community, whether through conversation, laundry or showers or a combination of all three,” they said.
The Orange Sky shower van is custom fitted with two showers, self sufficient heating and water tanks with grey water collection.
The founders said the shower van will partner with the Orange Sky laundry vans and other essential service providers to better connect the community.
The mini-van version comes after a bottled water deal between a Melbourne Not for Profit and a supermarket chain helped launch a mobile shower service for the city’s homeless in March 2016.
Billed as a world first, the Mobile Shower Bus offered a place for people with no access to a safe, clean bathroom, to enjoy shower facilities and hygiene products, and even clean underwear.
President of Not for Profit group One Voice, Josh Wilkins, a former youth worker and social justice advocate, came up with the idea after speaking to homeless people and spending six months in self-built campervan to better identify the challenges they face every day.
In trials around Melbourne, Wilkins found that up to 18 people used the mobile shower service each night. The service is now running in both Melbourne and Sydney.