Pope Francis has outdone himself again. After handing out 400 sleeping bags to the homeless on his 78th birthday in 2014, creating a space for showers and a barbershop adjacent to St. Peter’s Square in 2015 and inviting 1,500 homeless people to a pizza luncheon in 2016, he’s now opened a free laundromat in the middle of Rome.
The facility, called Pope Francis’ Laundry, is located inside a former hospital and has six washer and dryer sets donated by Whirlpool. Detergent is available from Procter & Gamble. Those struggling with extreme poverty are invited to wash and dry a load of laundry at no cost during the four days per week the laundromat is in operation. Plans are already in the works to expand Pope Francis’ Laundry to include showers, a barbershop and health care services.
“One of the greatest difficulties for those who live on the streets, along with that of finding food, a place to spend the night and public baths, is to wash and dry the clothes they wear, in many cases the only ones they own,” said Archbishop Konrad Krajewski in a press release. Krajewski went on to say that the goal of the laundromat is to restore dignity to “so many people who are our brothers and sisters.”