Homelessness. For the Institute of Global Homelessness (IGH), this term refers to homeless people; people living on the street or people living in transient, inadequate or insecure housing. Changing this reality is the goal of the 13 Houses Campaign, which will transform the lives of more than 10,000 homeless people around the world over the next 3-5 years.
“The 13 Houses Campaign grew out of the Vincentian Family Homeless Alliance, created in 2017 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the birth of the Vincentian charism,” explains Marcia Moreschi, a member of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and a member of the National Commission of the Vincentian Family in Brazil.
The project is a global partnership to provide aid and foster systemic change for some 1.2 billion people worldwide. The name was inspired by a historical event, which occurred in 1643, when St. Vincent received an inheritance and, together with the Ladies of Charity – today known as the International Association of Charities (AIC)- and the Daughters of Charity, built 13 homes for abandoned children, in addition to offering other services such as food and professional training to those assisted.
The idea of the Project is to help all homeless people who need some kind of support. “The project is based on the collaboration of the members of the Vincentian Family at the local level. It can be a partnership between two branches or a relationship with like-minded groups. Then, each country must develop its campaign according to its needs and realities, defining the forms and places of action,” stresses Marcia.
Projects can be developed in a variety of ways, from housing or homeless shelters, to improvements and renovations of existing housing. “The Campaign should target all Brazilian cities where there are people in need. Just start planning by listening to the cry of the poor and forming partnerships to develop the project,” encourages Marcia.
The 13 Houses Campaign is promoted by the International Executive Council of the Vincentian Family, which encourages the implementation of the project in more than 156 countries, offering assistance in planning and sharing experiences. In Brazil, representatives of the National Committee of the Vincentian Family (FAVIBRA), support and encourage regional actions to bring decent housing to several needy families.
“St. Vincent taught us that pooling resources and commitments increases our impact, so I invite the leaders and members of each branch of the Vincentian Family to begin a dialogue on collaborative action and to implement the 13 Houses Campaign. We need to unite for more effective action for the benefit of our lords and masters,” Marcia emphasizes.
Currently, the Campaign is already present in 50 countries. “We hope that the next one will be Brazil,” concludes the representative of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. Those interested in bringing the 13 Houses Campaign to Brazil can contact Marcia at firstname.lastname@example.org