Essential Service: Eugene Laundromat Stays Open 'Til Last Load Is Done
While many businesses have had to close during the pandemic, some are deemed ‘essential.’ Banks, hardware stores, and grocers are on the list. So are laundromats. After all, clean clothes and bedding is important to stay healthy and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
In south Eugene, coin-operated JC’s Laundry has established temporary hours (8am to 8pm seven days a week.) But that doesn’t mean they’ll lock the doors if you still have a load going. Vince La Barbera is laundromat attendant.
“Someone comes in, they don’t realize the changes in the hours. I’m not gonna force them out,” La Barbera says over the hum of tumbling dryers. “You’ve got however many minutes left. Sit in your car and be comfortable. Nap if you want. And then just, rap, rap rap on the door, [and say] ‘Help, I need my laundry!’”
Besides minding the door, La Barbera sanitizes washers, dryers and surfaces all day long. He says some residents of Eugene Village—a Conestoga hut homeless camp across the street-- rely on his laundromat, especially these days.