Ithaca is a non-profit organization, founded in 2015, whose aim is to increase the social inclusion of the homeless people. Through the operation of the first mobile laundry unit in Europe, Ithaca manages to improve the hygiene standards of the homeless people and restore their dignity. To this end, Ithaca also creates opportunities for people from social vulnerable groups by employing them on a part-time basis for up to 12 months, contributing in this way to their social reintegration.
Ithaca was founded in 2015 by three students, Thanos Spiliopoulos, Fanis Tsonas and Andili Rahouti. After watching a similar project in Australia, Thanos, Fanis and Andili decided to create the first mobile laundry for the homeless in Greece and Europe. This idea came about in concrete form on April 5, 2016, when Ithaca’s mobile laundry was first launched in the streets of Athens. Since January 2017, the Ithaca team has begun to grow and operate on a day-to-day basis, whereas it created the first job positions for people from vulnerable social groups within the organization.
The mobile nature of our services allows us to move wherever and whenever there is a need. In that way, we can approach and serve many people who are often unwilling to leave their spots and go to places that do not have access to sanitation services (e.g. accommodation centers, improvised settlements, squats etc.). Our mobile unit consists of two washing machines and two tumble dryers, while water and electricity are provided free of charge by partner organizations. Each wash lasts about 40' and drying the clothes another 45'. Beneficiaries deliver their clothes at the start of the shift, where they receive a priority number by which they pick up their clothes at the end of the process. Our employees in the field and volunteers are responsible for the reception and proper service of the beneficiaries as well as for the smooth functioning of the overall operation.
Since the beginning of our operation we have managed to serve 2,083 unique beneficiaries by delivering 8,841 washes. All these washes amount to more than 44 tons of clothes. Added to that, we have employed 5 people from social vulnerable groups. At the moment, the mobile laundry operates in five different spots in Athens and Piraeus, six days a week, while at the same time it tries to expand its range so as to serve as many people as possible.
If you want to become a volunteer or to make a donation contact Ithaca here
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