close
close

Latest Post

Lansing’s “Big Penny” Bridge strikes again – truck gets stuck underneath All about Kamala, the presidency, the coconut tree and strong “boy” women – La Voce di New York
Homeward Alliance mobile laundry truck back in service after accident – ​​Loveland Reporter-Herald

Mary Eshraghy, a volunteer with the Homeward Alliance Mobily Laundry, carries laundry bags up a ramp to the laundry cart in front of the Loveland Public Library on June 27, 2024. The cart has since been repaired and is back in use after being badly damaged in a car accident in January. (Austin Fleskes / Loveland Reporter-Herald)

In late January, the Homeward Alliance’s mobile laundry truck was put out of service after it was hit by another vehicle. The accident caused severe damage to the truck and the machinery inside, prompting volunteers to change their method of washing clothes.

But after about six months and $75,000 in donations from across the state, the truck was repaired and is back in service.

“I love it,” volunteer Mary Eshraghy ​​said of the program. “It’s so good.”

Woody Carlson, founder of the program that helps low-income families and homeless adults in northern Colorado with a free laundry service from a large truck filled with washers and dryers, said the team was able to continue offering its services while the truck was being repaired, but it wasn’t easy.

From the beginning of the year until the truck was repaired, volunteers had to collect laundry from the program’s drop-off locations throughout Northern Colorado and take the bags of clothes to a nearby laundromat, where they washed, dried, folded and collected all of the clothing with just a few volunteers.

Carlson said that while the new system works, it is much more difficult than using the truck because volunteers have to drive back and forth and do much of the work themselves.

He said the team feared the damage would require them to get a completely new truck, but the damage was ultimately repaired, albeit at a cost.

“Financially, it was a total loss, but we didn’t want to buy a new truck,” he said, adding that repairs would have cost as much as buying a new truck and converting it to the washing and drying needs.

And while repairing the vehicle and its machinery came at a high price — the truck repair cost between $17,000 and $20,000, and 12 new machines cost about $25,000 — the program was not left out in the cold when it came to repair costs. Carlson said they’ve received about $75,000 in donations since the truck was damaged, including about $35,000 in total after 9News’ Kyle Clark covered the program in a “Word of Thanks” segment in early February.

“Once people hear what we’re doing and what’s going on, they get excited about the idea and do what they can to help,” Carlson said, later adding, “They understand the idea that there’s just some dry socks and clean underwear for everybody, no matter what, people understand that.”

Dave Lilyblade, a volunteer with Homeward Alliance Mobily Laundry, loads a washing machine into the program's laundry cart outside the Loveland Public Library on June 27, 2024. Lilyblade said he has washed more than 1,300 loads of laundry in the years he's worked with the program, and he says he always goes home feeling good about having participated. (Austin Fleskes / Loveland Reporter-Herald)
Dave Lilyblade, a volunteer with the Homeward Alliance Mobile Laundry, loads a washing machine into the program’s laundry cart outside the Loveland Public Library on Thursday. Lilyblade said he has washed more than 1,300 loads of laundry in the years he’s worked with the program, and he says he always goes home feeling good about having participated. (Austin Fleskes / Loveland Reporter-Herald)

The team of volunteers has had the truck back for about two weeks and has gotten used to loading bags into the truck via a metal ramp, where six washing machines and six dryers rumble away as they do the cleaning.

“Today is the first day of everything working, fixed and back online,” Carlson said Thursday. “We came here and I bet we had 50 loads within an hour. (People) were ready.”

Volunteer Dave Lilyblade worked in the truck Thursday afternoon, hauling bags in and filling machines. He estimates that in his three to four years as a volunteer, he has washed more than 1,300 loads of laundry, many of which are catalogued in a small book that he eagerly shows off.

He said that although the work can be hard at times, it is a good program that means a lot to people.

“I think it’s important for people to have clean clothes,” he said, later adding, “At the end of the day, you always feel good that you did it.”

“I am proud to be part of the team,” said Eshraghy.

Carlson said he was excited to be able to use the truck again to help those in need.

“You can rely on us, we can be loyal, you can count on us. That really means something,” he said. “That gives me courage.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *