In October 2017, during the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the Vincentian Charism (Rome), Father General invited us to participate in the “13 Houses” Project, alluding to the experience of Saint Vincent. The motto was “I was a foreigner and you welcomed me.”. The Province of the Daughters of Charity of Northern Spain, wanting to respond to that call, initiated different projects on the provincial level.
In Asturias, the Daughters of Charity had 3 empty floors and also the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul was willing to abandon another floor so that this space could be transferred to the project.
To begin, the Province opened a bank account and each Vincentian Branch: Daughters of Charity; the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul, International Association of Charity (AIC) and the Association of the Miraculous Medal contributed an amount to create a fund … and these funds were used to initiate the project. The situation of each floor was reviewed, equipping them with furniture, dishes, cleaning supplies and non-perishable food ….
Development of the project
Since January 2021, the “13 houses project” has been consolidated and, to a large extent, has been able to achieve its main objectives, namely, provide autonomy to the people housed in the homes we manage.
Of the 20 people welcomed in 2020, 16 of them have become independent. Their legal status has been regulated, they are working and living independently. From January 2021 to the present, another 19 people have been welcomed, 6 of whom left of their own free will, even though they were not yet in a regular situation.
Indirectly, two other families with minors (8 members) are being supported with assistance for rent payments, food, etc. They are being accompanied during this process. Regarding job training and job search, everyone has been provided with guidance and support service that has facilitated their insertion into the job market. All those who have been welcomed have benefited from food donations from the Alimerka Foundation.
Activities carried out
Each case has been studied, an intervention plan has been developed and is periodically reviewed. Our most significant actions have consisted of:
- We carry out a prior assessment and selection of individuals and/or families in need of accommodation.
- We guide these persons as they attempt to regulate their legal status … we refer them to appropriate institutions and we helping them with the cost of transportation.
- We encourage and accompany these men and women in job training as well as in their search for employment. They are able to do online job searches, we help them prepare a resume, and the minor children of these individuals are integrated into the nearest educational center.
- We have been accompanied these individuals to the Alimerka Foundations where they are able to receive food.
- We have provided for their basic needs (clothing, hygiene products, phones, new technologies, transportation). We guide this individuals in the management of their financial resources so that they are able to become financially independent.
- Regular visits have been made to supervise the order, cleaning and good maintenance of each floor and, above all, efforts have been made to improve the relationships between the occupants.
- Meetings have been held with the occupants of each floor, making the necessary changes to improve their living situation.
To carry out these activities we have incorporated volunteers into this process, individuals who have competency in the areas of Social Work, Nursing, Law and Business Administration. We also have a doctor who volunteers and supports, advises and offers his services as a podiatrist.
Recently, we have launched “Project ESPERANZA” (Project HOPE), offering a meeting place and activities for single, homeless people. To date, ten individuals have taken advantage of this project. Little by little this project has unfolded and has done so with the enthusiasm of the beneficiaries as well as the volunteers.
FAMVIN. Familia Vicenciana en Asturias. C/ Murillo 9, bajo, 33011 OVIEDO