Supporting Friends

Orange Sky delivers an essential service to support people who are experiencing homelessness in the Newcastle area, who currently number more than 3,000.

Aiming to alleviate some of the hardships faced by the homeless community, Orange Sky provides laundry services with a mobile laundry van and supportive conversations to those in need. Since late 2019, Orange Sky has provided more than 4,000 loads of clean laundry and 8,500 hours of genuine, non-judgemental conversation across the Hunter.

Each person who uses the services of Orange Sky are known as ‘friends’, who are supported by the dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers who make up the Orange Sky community.

Orange Sky uses a partnership model, working alongside other service providers such as community centres, food services and outreach programs, to ensure they’re operating in locations where their friends feel most comfortable and can access other help more easily.

Orange Sky volunteer Dianne Knight said one of the most rewarding things about her time with the service is the diversity of friends she has met along the way, and how much they and the volunteers themselves gain from the service.

“My shift is an incredible hub for people doing it tough in the region,” Dianne said.

“It is always busy, sharing a meal and chatting with our friends, connecting with the other community service providers we work alongside, and working together with other Orange Sky volunteers.”

“I have had plenty of conversations with fellow Newcastle volunteers and they all had their own version of how our friends’ stories have shaped them personally and given them a better understanding of Newcastle and how much our service is needed.”

Through an ongoing partnership with Port Waratah, the Orange Sky Hunter van visits several locations across Newcastle and Lake Macquarie every week and has also deployed to assist in crisis situations when needed, such as communities affected by bushfires.

hours of genuine, non-judgemental conversation across the Hunter
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