Several buildings in Rome and five Metro stations were recently opened overnight. Good hearted people worked hard to provide welcome places of shelter for people who regularly live outdoors.
But how many other buildings, churches, municipal facilities were meanwhile left empty when people were out in the cold, trying to catch a few hours sleep in the dirt, the rain, the detritis of the street? People trying to catch a few hours sleep in unimaginable conditions.
Providing 100 or so places for 7000 or more homeless people in Rome to take shelter is a good start, but opening doors to people who are struggling outside in the ice, the rain, the cold in extreme conditions should not be news or an extraordinary event. It should a normal and every day response when we know that hundreds, thousands, are sleeping outside on the cold ground.
Even one man sleeping out on the street is a huge shame on society.
Project Rome – Tiburtina Tuesday has been giving shelter up to 6 people at a time for the past 8 months, and providing showers, meals and clothes washing facilities to many others. We’re not trying to be heroes, we’re doing what we can do, looking after others, particularly during extreme conditions. And individually and collectively we can encourage offices, schools, churches, companies, Embassies, governments, municipalities, communes to support those who are less able to support themselves.
Homeless people sleep for just a few hours a night, they become exhausted from the cold, from walking or being outside all day long, from constantly being disturbed. How can we ever expect them to step back up and rejoin society?
We need places in Rome for those sleeping rough to wash, to wash their clothes, to make themselves presentable, to recharge their batteries, to catch up on unbroken sleep, to eat, to use the internet to keep in touch with family or look for work. We need `Project Home’ drop in centres. We will run take on the management, we will staff it (with `homeless’ men and women) and we will equip it and run it.
If you know a company would sponsor `Project Home’, or provide a space, or a building, where we can give respite to men who have a life much harder than any of us can imagine, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 324 902 6572. Don’t turn away, don’t treat these people as if they are invisible, help us change the shame on society.