A white van equipped with four washers and four dryers will sit in the H1 parking lot at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton one day each week for the remainder of the semester providing students with a free laundry service.
Every Tuesday starting at 8 a.m. while students are in class or attending to other duties, they can drop off a maximum of two baskets of laundry at the Loads of Hope’s van.
Second-year student Rachel Yang said the laundry program helped her because she lives in an apartment with various people so getting a chance to use the washers is rare.
“I’m renting a room, so there’s only one unit and everyone is using it,” Yang said. “This is really helpful so I don’t have to focus on so many things while focusing on my classes.”
Students don’t need to bring any washing supplies to access the program and their laundry will be returned to them folded.
Ana Villegas, basic needs project manager at San Joaquin Delta College, said the college noticed a need among students for basic needs, especially following the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Villegas, 42 percent of students at the school are food insecure, 31 percent are housing insecure, and 18 percent are homeless.
Students wanting to use the laundry service must be a Delta student, have to fill out a food pantry application, bring a student ID number and have a photo ID.
The last wash of laundry is at 2:30 p.m. Biodegradable detergent is used during the washing process, and washers are sanitized between washes, according to Villegas.
Victoria Franco is a reporter based in Stockton covering San Joaquin County for Bay City News Foundation and its nonprofit news site Local News Matters. She is a Report for America corps member.