Homeless Working Group
The European Homeless Group, set up by the Hospitaller Order’s Europe Commission for the three-year period 2016-2018 to follow up the Grundtvig “New faces of poverty” project financed by the European Union in 2013-2015, convened in Rome, on Wednesday, 4 October for their annual meeting.
This working group was created to facilitate coordination, share programmes and widely publicise information on the work of the Order’s 25 centres in Europe caring for people at risk of social exclusion, marginalisation and homelessness.
Dr Carlo Galasso – member of the Hospitaller Order’s Europe Commission – coordinated the meeting, which was attended by representatives of the directors and officials of the following centres: Serafino Nizza (President of the Pampuri Night Shelter in Brescia), Miguel Neves (Olallo House, London), Matúš Ferenčík (St John of God House in Bratislava), Laura Guijarro (SJG Social Services, Barcelona) and Georges Kammerlocher (SJG Night Shelter, Marseille).
The meeting was briefed on the latest projects being promoted in the Centres over the past year: a research project on programmes to support precarious workers (the Order’s centres in Barcelona, Valencia and Murcia), the outpatient healthcare unit set up at the Marseille Night Shelter, the construction of temporary low-cost housing in Bratislava in partnership with a team of local architects, the care being provided by Olallo House in London to take in trafficked non-EU citizens, and the refugees’ and asylum-seekers’ integration project in Brescia.
The members of the group stressed the importance of setting up a communications platform (for example, a blog site, Facebook page or website) for publishing and sharing the many facilities in the Order’s European Centres for the homeless, and to facilitate bilateral visits and contacts between all the people working in reception centres. In 2018, the members will reconvene to select and activate the best communications tool, and to debate a potential joint strategy for the Order’s European Reception Centres.