Ipswich Dry Cleaners owner Libby Rawlings.
Ipswich Dry Cleaners owner Libby Rawlings. Rob Williams

Laundry helping homeless clean up for free

THE building gutted by fire in the Ipswich CBD this week was last used by a dry cleaning business, which wants to give back to the homeless community in the wake of the blaze.

Fire broke out about noon on Thursday in a vacant building on Brisbane St but has been empty since Ipswich Dry Cleaners moved premises down the road 10 years ago.

Police confirmed the building was "known for squatters".

Owner Libby Rawlings said the business was introducing an initiative every Thursday for the next four weeks from 9am-noon, offering free laundry to anyone who was homeless.

"(The fire) really made us think what can we can do to help," she said.

"Ipswich is a really tight-knit community.

"We thought by providing a modest gesture of some free laundry to those experiencing tough times being homeless, might in a small way help those that need a hand from time to time."

Mrs Rawlings said the business already washed clothes for homeless people free of charge and donated unwanted doonas and blankets to charity but wanted to do more to assist those living rough.

She believed homelessness in the Ipswich CBD had gotten worse over the past decade.

"I've seen a steady flow (of homeless people through the shop)," she said.

"It definitely hasn't reduced over the last few years."

Ipswich Dry Cleaners is located at 255 Brisbane St.