The welcome centres
The welcome centres of the community represent a combination of organised initiatives in order to meet the needs of people living in a difficult plight.
Information and advice
People can find in our centres help and friendship, in order to orientate themselves in the net of public and private services.
Distribution of food
In the last few years, the number of homeless people who do not have the means to live, and also those who have a home, but are destitute has been increasing. They are old people with an insufficient pension to cover all the necessary costs of life; or they are families in a difficult situation with scarce or absent income. To help the difficult plight of these people, each year ca. 220 tons of foodstuffs are distributed by the centres.
Distribution of clothes
Homeless people need different kinds of assistance, in order to help them to live better. Some quotidian gestures become much more difficult: for example, the personal care represents a big problem. In consideration of this, clothes, clean underwear, shoes are distributed by our welcome centres.
Showers, laundry, hairdresser
Washing becomes a problem difficult to resolve for the homeless. For this reason by the welcome centre in Via Anicia in Rome showers and automatic laundry are available. Who comes to wash receives also a full change of clothes and can wash and iron his or her clothes. There is also a hairdresser.
In the welcome centre in Rome people find a medical clinic where it is possible, in addition to medical examination, to receive free medicines if available.
The homeless often lose the possibility to benefit from public services as they have no more a place of residence and no identity documents because of the lack of a home. This situation of "register death" determines the total loss of their rights as citizens even if they are Italian and have been living in our towns for years.
For this reason, the Community of Sant'Egidio has solicited an agreement with the Town Hall of Rome, permitting people who have lost their place of residence to re-establish it by the soup-kitchen in Via Dandolo.
Today ca. 600 people, above all Italians, "live" by our canteen and, thank to the new place of residence, they have again the possibility to benefit from the social and medical assistance, to vote, to have documents of identification.
People who do not have a home cannot receive correspondence. For foreigners, far from their family, to receive mail is the unique way to keep in touch with their dear ones. But for Italians too, it represents an indispensable service. Therefore the guests by the canteen in Via Dandolo can receive the correspondence: each year we receive ca. 12,000 letters.
By the soup-kitchen in Rome, guests can benefit from the Library, with the opportunity of borrowing books and of stopping there to read. Many people frequenting the soup-kitchens have a good culture level: because of their living on the street they cannot get books and cannot borrow books by public libraries.