Chicago Ideas partnered with the Laundry Project July 12 to offer a free laundry day in Englewood on the city's South Side.
The 3-hour event took place at Wash & Relax Laundry, 1153 W 69th St. Free detergent and coins were provided to customers. Chicago Ideas Week and Laundry Project volunteers assisted with laundry services and entertaineded the children.
Founder and president of the Laundry Project Jason Sowell was in Chicago for the event. His agency is based in Tampa and serves 12 cities, and they are hoping to expand to Chicago.
Sowell said it takes about $700 to do what they did at the Englewood event. That small amount money translates to a lot for the families in these neighborhoods, he said, adding that many individuals and families have to choose between laundry and food. "That to me should not be someone's choice," he said.
Brianna Huy from Edelman is director of media relations for Chicago Ideas Week. She said that the group is trying to do more outreach in the neighborhoods.
One of the key findings from the LGBTQ Homeless Youth summit recently hosted by Windy City Times was that the youth needed access to more basic resources, including laundry, storage, showers and bathrooms.
Chicago Ideas Week will be this October, and it is an annual gathering of global thought leaders. It includes talks, lands and more.
See www.chicagoideas.com and follow Chicago Ideas on Facebook and Twitter via @chicagoideas.
Videos by Tracy Baim posted here: