2007 Systemic Change Award - Andújar

From Vincentian Encyclopedia

Province of Spain - Madrid - Systemic Change Award - Andújar

Project “Welcome and Integration of Transients” in Andújar

Andújar is situated in a geographic zone which unites the north with the south of Spain. This accounts for the influx of many people without resources, who lack housing and the possibility of integration into society. The parishioners of the Parish of the Divine Shepherd, for which the Congregation of the Mission is responsible, detected this need and created, together with the members of the Association of the Miraculous Medal, the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul and the Parish Charity, the Association of the Vincentian Family of Andújar, which is responsible for the “Saint Vincent de Paul” welcome and integration center.

Purpose of the project:

That the transients and the homeless might have space, time and means in order to heal their wounds, recover standard habits and integrate into society, living an independent life.

The following programs were developed:

  • “Welcome” that provides a day’s stay and covers the basic necessities.
  • “Help in emergency,” when the person requires an extended stay.
  • “Social integration” both for the new transients and the regulars. If it is detected that they do not have the capacity to follow the process (the sick, those in excessively chronic situations), they are steered toward other resources.

The program’s duration is approximately one year and includes three phases: welcome, recuperation and integration into society. During this period, they have various activities in order to arrive at: adequate living together, growth in self-esteem, recovery of work habits, professional qualification, etc. The final months of this program are carried out in protected apartments, as a first step toward independent living.

At the same time that they try to give back to these homeless people the dignity that they thought lost, the persons who are at their service (volunteers and hired staff) mature in their faith, serving Jesus Christ in the person of the poor.