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This truck is making sure the homeless have clean clothes

Posted at 3:21 PM, Apr 24, 2019

Riley Cockrell is on a mission to get 30 loads of laundry washed inside a tiny truck for all the people who have lined up outside it.

“We serve seven to eight locations a week, so it ends up being a whole lot of laundry every week,” Cockrell says.

This is the Laundry Truck, a mobile laundry service providing free washer and dryer service for people experiencing homelessness or extreme poverty. Bayaud Enterprises owns one of two mobile laundry units.

The company raised $80,000 for each of the two trucks through philanthropy.

“There are a lot of people who just need their clothes washed, whether it's to prepare for a job interview or to sort of fight the stigma that comes with homelessness,” Cockrell, who is Laundry Truck’s operations manager, says.

Bayaud created the first first mobile laundry truck in the US.

One person lined up outside the truck is a guy named Joseph Viera, who has been making do with just two sets of clothes.

“Basically, you just take a shower and stay clean try not to sweat during the day and just live,” says Viera, who is homeless.

Clean clothes give him confidence and dignity, he says.

“They have appointments they may need to make. They've got counselors they're working with a lot of times. You know, they're dealing with the shelter system,” says Cockrell.

Something as simple as clean laundry can be vital.

And with trucks like these popping up around the country, they're a small way to make a big impact.

“Clean clothes is something that provides a lot of dignity for people who are living in temporary housing or shelters or living outside on the streets,” Cockrell says. “And being able to feel your best as you try to move forward in your life is really, really important.”