On October 23, 2010, in Catania (Sicily, Italy), Archbishop Salvatore Gristina inaugurated the “Locanda del Samaritano” (the Samaritan Inn) in Catania.
The refuge called Locanda del Samaritano welcomes men and women who need substantial support and accompaniment for social reintegration, people who are in a state of mental or physical suffering, as to require a 24-hour reception. In particular, the subjects can present psychiatric problems, dependence on substances or behaviors, women victims of violence, people with physical pathologies, elderly people, etc.
The house is self-managed by the host people themselves, and has the presence of workers, volunteers and the supervision of the Vincentians (Congregation of the Mission). In addition, the following services are offered at the center: job counseling; legal advice; Bible courses; Italian language school; psychological support; art therapy; psychoeducational groups; journalistic activity; cultural mediation; accompaniment to services.
In addition to serving people who are welcome (more than 1,400 a year), the home aims to raise awareness in the local community about the problems of those who are in a state of extreme poverty, through round tables, conferences, activities of cineforum, multiethnic dinners, debates, etc. Special attention is paid to the spiritual accompaniment, to rediscovering again the brothers and sisters who are recipients of love but also capable of continuing to love life, despite the difficulties. In fact, within the Locanda there is also a multi-faith chapel where everyone can create a space for dialogue with God, a space to reflect, to pray.