On Monday, the head of the Catholic Church worldwide, Pope Francis, opened a new laundromat for the poor.
According to the press release, "The Pope's Laundry is organised by the office of the Papal Charities, in partnership with the community of Sant'Egidio, and will be run by volunteers who will wash, dry and iron the clothes and blankets of those who otherwise can't clean their belongings.
The initiative was born out of an invitation from Pope Francis in his apostolic letter Misericordia et misera, “to give a ‘concrete’ experience of the grace of the Jubilee Year of Mercy,” an April 10 communique from the Vatican stated.
The service, located in an old hospital in Rome's Trastevere neighborhood, now called the “People of Peace Center,” includes six brand-new washers and dryers, donated by Whirlpool. Irons, detergent and other products needed for the service have also been donated.
The laundromat joins services to welcome and assist the poor already in place at the location for more than 10 years.
In the next few months, they plan to also add a barber, free clothing, medical clinics, and the distribution of necessities to the Center.
The laundry service follows a string of special initiatives by Pope Francis to serve the homeless in Rome.
In 2015, Francis established showers, bathrooms and a barber shop inside the Vatican to serve the homeless population.