Now that the temperature has dropped in Rome, the Apostolic Almoner has intensified the aid to the homeless, reports L’Osservatore Romano on January 5, 2019.
The Vatican newspaper lists the initiatives, such as the distribution of sleeping bags, and an increase in the number of beds in the “Gift of Mercy” dorm, located two minutes away from St. Peter’s Square. Three Sisters, Missionaries of Charity and volunteers, formerly homeless, run the dorm, opened in the premises of the Society of Jesus.
The guests can stay there for three months, while waiting for more lasting lodging. The center has a kitchen to prepare breakfasts, three bathrooms, a reading area and the dorm with bunk beds, which can sleep 34 men. They can come in between 6:00 to 7:00 pm, and should leave before 8:00 am.
In the Trastevere neighbourhood, the San Callisto presbytery, extra-territorial property of the Holy See, some 30 persons are received every night in its facilities and in the church. Dinner is served in a nearby canteen. The homeless can then go to the dorm, run by Sant’Egidio Community, between 8:00 pm and 10:00 pm. Nearby is the “Pope’s launderette,” with six washing machines and six dryers, available to the SDF.
Finally, the Apostolic Almoner distributes hot meals to street people in several locations of the Eternal City, notably the church of Saint Mary Immaculate on the Esquiline, of which the Papal Almoner, Cardinal Konrad Krajewski is titular, where Permanent Deacons cook for 250 people on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The Pope’s Almoner also offers dogs of the homeless a free veterinary consultation every third Sunday of the month, in the Town Hall of Ostia.