A new ' casa Amica' for people with disabilities in Rome offers an alternative to institutionalisation for the most vulnerable, a model that can be replicated

 A new "casa Amica" has been opened in Rome, it is the result of Sant'Egidio's commitment to contrast institutionalisation of people with disabilities.
The apartment is located in the Tiburtino-Piazza Bologna area and it has been realised in collaboration with the local services. It represents a successful example of collaboration between different parties: ASL, Municipality, Sant'Egidio.
Three people and an assistant live in the apartment that is run and coordinated by the Community of Sant'Egidio with the help of a vast network of volunteers and friends. Once a suitable flat had been found, friends, volunteers and people from the neighbourhood collaborated to fully furnish it and build a real alternative to institutionalisation.
Then, people with disabilities were invited to live together in the apartment at weekends so they could gradually become familiar with the new environment and their new friends.
Now, finally, a new life has begun. It is possible to live at home, even with a disability!
Sant'Egidio has set up several new housing solutions in Italy, based on a synergy of resources involving people with disabilities, local health and social services and informal social assets such as neighbourhoods and voluntary organisations.
These solutions are more necessary than ever in these difficult times of pandemic as hospitalisation in large facilities for people with disabilities and for all the most fragile is still the most widespread perspective. Indeed, it is certainly not the 'happiest' one. The experience of the "protected" family home realised by Sant'Egidio is an example that can be replicated, cohabitation can be a response to the difficulties of vulnerable people.