The Laundry Project: Free laundromat service staffed by volunteers coming to Scranton

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Imagine not having the ability to provide your family with clean laundry on a regular basis.

A local community has started a movement to help ease that burden.

A lot of families are choosing between buying groceries or washing their clothes and with the pandemic, obviously, that has heightened even more. The Laundry Project helps local families with that basic need.

The Laundry Project takes a load off for some local residents and organizers say the project is straight forward.

“Provide free laundry services for families coming in that are washing their clothes it’s free to them. we have soap and supplies for them to use and just try to make the day at the laundromat a good hope-filled day for them,” said Jason Sowell, President, CEO Current Initiatives Laundry Project.

The Laundry Project started in 2009 and is now a nationwide nonprofit organization that partners with local laundromats and takes them over for a few hours to turn them into community centers.

Eyewitness News met a Scranton woman who has been coming to the same laundry mat on Pittston Avenue for four years. Tuesday she was surprised to find out it would be free for her.

“Oh yeah, everything is free. Like supplies, free. The laundry, free. A lot of good people who help me and then each help me bring the clothes inside too,” said Scranton resident Urvashi Patel.

Organizers say the project has seen a bigger need in communities like Scranton during the pandemic.

“A lot more people out of work, a lot of lot people that are on furlough trying to figure out how to pay the next bill,” said Sowell. “So this is all an effort to help alleviate that financial burden a little bit, while also helping provide a little dignity for them at the same time.”

Patel did more than 20 loads of laundry Tuesday, allowing her to save a good amount of money.

“Every time $40, $40 yeah but not enough stuff because the snow than I put a little bit every time, but yeah it’s $30 to $40,” Patel said.

Over the next several months, you’ll see the project pop up at different laundromats.

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