Charity Shower Project for Homeless in Brazil

by | Feb 12, 2023 | Daughters of Charity, Homelessness, News

Fortaleza is the capital of the state of Ceará, located in the north-eastern region of Brazil. The city has a tropical climate with high rainfall and humidity except during the dry season from August to December. It was the third city in Brazil to be declared a health disaster due to the arrival of the pandemic in 2020. The number of infected people and deaths was alarming. Government measures to slow down the contagion economically destabilised a large part of the population, increasing unemployment and poverty.

The most vulnerable, having had to leave their homes suddenly, joined the many homeless living on the streets or under the viaducts of the great capital, too often facing a general indifference from society.

The Daughters of Charity’s initiative to serve street people was launched in 2020, to ensure access to hygiene at the height of the Covid 19 pandemic.

Sister Patricia da Silva Gomes says:

“Our priority needs were to be able to buy all the hygiene items necessary for the proper functioning of our mobile showers made available to the homeless in the region. Thanks to generous donors, we received some funds (via Projets Rosalie) on 10 March 2022. We were able to buy towels, nappies, children’s clothes, meat for quality meals, non-perishable foodstuffs…”

The vulnerability of people living on the streets and food insecurity are growing problems in Brazil and the ‘Charity Shower’ project has had a positive impact on the glaring reality of poverty. Basic necessities such as access to a shower, hygiene products, clean clothes and health care were a luxury out of reach for the street population, before this project.

The project is transformative, restoring a sense of dignity to street people.

Beautiful testimonies

Cicero das Chagas has been living on the street for 10 years and is very grateful for the impact of this project on his life:

Before we had no place to maintain good hygiene and to feed ourselves. Now with the Daughters of Charity project we have clean clothes, a daily shower, hygiene materials… things that make us feel acceptable. When we are sick, the sisters look after us and heal our wounds, they also listen to our stories and comfort us so that we do not feel invisible in society. The best moment of the day is when they come to meet us!”

Januario Bezerra has been living on the street for over 20 years and says:

Hunger hurts a lot… But today we are sure that the Sisters will not let us die of hunger or thirst anymore. When we are hungry, they come with good food, tasty and quality food. We all know that everything the Sisters do is good and of good quality because they do it with love.

The showers of charity are our joy! We have the certainty of not being judged for our poverty, but of being welcomed and cared for by the hands of the Sisters, before sleeping cleanly and smelling good.” (Josivaldo Cruz).

Source: Les Projets Rosalie