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May 28 2013

The response of Sant'Egidio to the severe economic crisis in Spain

hot meals for those who have lost their homes, meals for the elderly, support for families in serious trouble

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Spain is one of the EU countries where the economic crisis is producing the most serious social problems. The sharp rise in unemployment (which for the young is up to 57%) coupled with various social aid cuts, have caused a rise in poverty by almost 10%. Currently, in 1,900,000 households all members are unemployed.

In response to this situation, the Community of Sant'Egidio in Madrid has increased its aid and proximity to people in need. Today Sant'Egidio distributes several times a week more than 1,200 hot and nourishing dinners in the streets of downtown Madrid. The proximity to all who are in need is something especially significant in this moment, in which the situation is much worse. In fact, 32% of people living on the streets in Madrid have lost their homes in the past year and, according to statistics, a third of the homeless have university studies. For those who have the house Sant'Egidio also distributes food aid.

Even the elderly have been affected by this situation, and for this reason we began to organize the dinner with the elderly poor of the city center in the house of the Community. The increase in difficulty is also manifested in the district of Pan Bendito, where for 25 years Sant'Egidio has run the School of Peace. The families of the neighborhood- mostly gypsies, now struggle to feed their children. At this time, the School of Peace is a haven for them.

But with the hope of the Gospel friendship grows and multiplies. In fact, on May 15, the feast of San Isidro, patron saint of Madrid, a homeless friend told us: "I thought I would start a petition of signatures to present to the mayor of the city. I want to propose that the patron be Sant'Egidio, and not San Isidro,  because Sant'Egidio is the one who really does miracles in Madrid. "

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