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Squamish laundromat 'The Spot' set for sunny relocation

‘Spreading love, dignity, and hygiene’: New Spot Laundry Society non-profit launches.

Like the lyrics to the song by Ada Blenkhorn, Ashleigh Leier says she is going to keep on the sunny side of the street from now on.

Leier's The Spot Laundromat on Second Avenue closes this weekend, but will be moving literally across the street to the west side of Second Ave, which gets more sun, Leier joked, looking across at her new location on Thursday, as the sun was shining on it.

The new location is at 38139 Second Avenue in the current home of Sweeney Bride Strategic Wealth Advisory, which is also moving. (It will be at suite 404-37989 Cleveland Ave.)

Leier takes possession of the new location in January.

As previously reported in The Squamish Chief, Leier was shocked this summer when she discovered her lease was not being renewed for her current location, which she opened about four years ago. 

She was given a deadline of Nov. 30 to move out.

At the time, she couldn't see a way to absorb the cost of a move to reopen, thus potentially spelling the end of Squamish's only public coin laundry.

But much has happened since then. 

There was an outpouring of emotion over the potential closure from customers, supporters, and others. 

"It's the people. I have to. I can't not," Leier said of why she has decided to start anew, noting the great need in the community for laundry and shower services.

"People that come here all the time, almost in tears," she added.

She has also been overwhelmed by the support from Squamish in general since news of The Spot's potential demise got out. 

"The support from the community … it's been astounding."

The move, though only metres across the road, won't be cheap; the rent is more expensive across the street and the location is also a bit bigger. Plus, she has to store everything, such as the washers and dryers, for months until the reopening. 

"Walking out of here and trying to just go in there, it's going to cost me $100,000," she said. 

A big positive about the move is that she has a 12-year term at her new location, which gives her—and her customers—the peace of mind that The Spot won't have to move again for a good long time.

A way to help

Leier has long quietly dug into her own funds and helped people out, such as letting them wash their clothes or shower if they were having a hard time and couldn't come up with the cash. 

With the move, she wants to make lending a hand a more official thing.

Thus, a non-profit called The Spot Laundry Society was launched.

The non-profit will help fund plumbing, a fully accessible washroom and shower, and seed funding for programs at The Spot's new location.

This new society will allow established programs to help people. One such program would involve giving tokens to folks struggling so they could easily use the facility, Leier said.

Leier has reluctantly—she hates asking for help with anything, she said—allowed her friend and supporter Nicola Fairweather to launch a GoFundMe in support of the society. 

"Every donation directly impacts our community, creating a cleaner, more supportive environment. No parent should have to choose between clean laundry or heating for their children—let's rally together to support our community, spreading love, dignity, and hygiene," reads the online "Support The Spot Laundry Society" campaign.

Watch The Spot Laundromat Facebook page for news on when the new location will be open. 

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