The Ithaca NGO was founded by three students, Thanos Spiliopoulos, Fanis Tsona and Andili Rahoutis. Inspired by a similar action in Australia, we decided to create the first mobile washing machine for the homeless in Greece and in Europe.
On April 5, 2016, our idea was now fleshed out, as Ithaca’s mobile washing machine was first piloted on the streets of Athens. From January 2017 our team started to grow and started operating on a daily basis, while at the same time creating the first jobs within the organisation, which were offered to people from vulnerable social groups.
Since 2017 to date, Ithaca’s support has not only remained in sanitation services but has moved to a holistic model.
In 2021, the Social Service started operating in the field, which still provides psychosocial support to vulnerable groups.
From 2021, the job counselling programme was developed, aimed not only at Ithaca employees, but also at vulnerable groups trying to get back on their feet.
Our vision is to increase social inclusion and reduce social exclusion, so that people belonging to the most vulnerable groups can rediscover their Ithaca.
Ithaca’s mission is to improve living conditions and promote social inclusion through sanitation services, to reintegrate vulnerable people into the labour market, and to raise awareness of the problem of homelessness and poverty.
The problems faced daily by people who are excluded from basic social goods are complex. Thus, our team’s goal is to offer a comprehensive model of support to these fellow citizens.
For this purpose, our action is developed in 3 main pillars, which complement each other to offer people from vulnerable social groups all the supplies they need to find their Ithaca again.
The first pillar concerns the provision of hygiene services to people belonging to socially vulnerable groups. Hygiene is the basis of our work, as we believe that cleanliness leads to dignity, which in turn leads to new opportunities.
Ithaca, with its Mobile Laundry Unit, employs people from vulnerable groups with the aim of their smooth social reintegration. With job counselling, empowerment and linkage programmes with companies and organisations, the Ithaca team completes a process of meaningful and holistic intervention with the ultimate goal of permanent absorption of the beneficiaries of the programme into the labour market.
The third pillar is to inform and raise awareness of both the public and the State on the issue of homelessness. By campaigning, participating in networks and addressing every relevant institution, Ithaca demands and advocates for the improvement of conditions, services and access for all people to all basic goods.