OCEANSIDE, Calif. (KGTV) - In Oceanside, a gutted trailer will soon transform into a new resource for the area’s homeless.
After nearly two months of work, Oscarin Ortega’s vision is coming into focus.
“It’s about dignity. It’s about humanity,” said Ortega.
Ortega heads Lived Experiences, a nonprofit aimed at helping at-risk youth, and has been volunteering with Humanity Showers, which offers mobile showers and other resources to the homeless.
He recalled a recent conversation with founder Jordan Verdin.
"I asked him, ‘What’s missing here? What do you need?’ He said, ‘It’d be nice to operate where people would be able wash their clothes,’” said Ortega.
Ortega went to work, buying and gutting an old 20-foot trailer, before sketching out a design. When complete, the mobile laundromat will house four washers and four dryers. He says this will help homeless who can’t afford to have their clothes washed or don’t want to go into a laundromat.
“They’re frowned upon. They’re judged … It’s not a welcoming atmosphere to wash clothes,” said Ortega.
Ortega believes a clean set of clothes could make a difference.
“There’s a lot of people who just want the ability to wash their clothes so they can go to work, or they want a fresh pair of clothes so they can get a job interview. Or they just want to walk around and feel better about themselves, good about themselves. They want to be integrated into society but we judge so much upon on how they look, how they smell, that it just takes that away from them. They get disconnected,” said Ortega.
He hopes to have the mobile laundry built by the end of May, mostly traveling to the same sites as Humanity Showers.
“It’s a pretty big step into their own recovery, into their own healing, into a better life,” said Ortega.
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help raise money for the mobile laundromat.