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Orange Sky Thinking

The importance of giving back to the community

In our previous blog, we explained how we applied Broken Windows Theory at our busy Fortitude Valley Centre to resolve a number of safety and social problems. We took a zero-tolerance approach to an issue that impacted on the health and safety of centre tenants and users.

Broken Window Theory can be extremely useful, but it has its limits. Unless the underlying issues are addressed, it remains just that – a theory. And as facilities management specialists, we know that theories are great, but practical applications are king.

So rather than treat the homeless challenge at our centre as a one-way issue, we looked at how we could proactively help, by providing some form of support to the Valley’s homeless community.

And through some blue sky thinking we came up with an ‘Orange Sky’ solution.

What is Orange Sky?

In case you haven’t heard of them, Orange Sky Australia is the world’s first free mobile laundry service for the homeless.

It was a crazy, brilliant idea, started in 2014 by two 19 year old best mates Nic Marchesi and Lucas Patchett – to put two washing machines and two dryers in a van, and wash and dry clothes for homeless friends for free. Starting in the streets of Brisbane, Orange Sky Australia has now grown to 14 services across Australia in Brisbane, Canberra, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Sydney, Sunshine Coast, Perth, Adelaide, Newcastle, SE Melbourne, Wollongong and Hobart. They have also now included mobile showers as part of their service offering to homeless friends.

Orange Sky Laundry now does over 5.8 tonnes of laundry every week.

Why we got involved

Shortly after we secured the bin enclosure at our centre to improve safety and security for our tenants, we decided to start working with Orange Sky Australia.

For us, the decision was a no-brainer. Orange Sky Australia needed a safe location in Fortitude Valley to deliver their service along with access to water and electricity – and we were only too happy to provide them, free of charge.

Why? Because as a neighbourhood centre, we want to be good neighbours to our community.

Homelessness had previously been a source of tension for our tenants and users, and we felt it was our role to take steps to create a more positive experience for all involved.  We were committed to find a support service or solution that helped homeless friends in a positive and impactful way. Partnering with Orange Sky Australia was that solution and their mission of positively connecting the community really resonated with us and what we wanted to achieve at this location.

Two years on, the initiative goes from strength to strength – with Orange Sky Australia helping homeless friends at our centre every Tuesday and Friday.

At Quoject FSN we understand that to achieve great results, it requires both creative thinking and sensitivity to the needs of the community – and that to be truly successful, a facility needs to be an integrated part of its community that give something back to the people it serves.

If you’d like Quoject FSN to put your facility at the centre of your community, contact Annabel on 1300225 565 or visit www.Quojectfsn.com.au. If you are interested in supporting Orange Sky Australia, please contact Head of Funding and Growth, Megan Cairney on 0412 386 272 ormegan.cairney@orangesky.org.au

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