Order's Centres for the Homeless. - Grundtvig Project

On Friday March 23, the third meeting was held in London for the Hospitaller Order’s centres for the homeless involved in the Grundtvig project dedicated to “the new faces of poverty” in Europe. This is a project being funded by the European Union in response to the request submitted by the Hospitality Europe office.

The meeting had been organised by the Co-workers from the London-based Olallo House, and was attended by more than 40 Brothers and Co-workers from the homeless centres in Barcelona, Marseille and Brescia.

The day opened with an address by Jonathan Qureshi, the Greater London Authority’s Senior Project Officer (rough sleeping commission). As evidence of the crucial importance of the theme of the European project – social marginalisation at a time of economic crisis –the speaker said that in the past five years there had been a 100% increase in the numbers of the homeless, with over 45% of them British nationals. He then explained the London Housing Strategy for the metropolitan area of London to deal with the emergency: the innovative character of the programme attracted many questions and comments from the floor.

The next agenda item was a presentation of the work of Olallo House for the homeless, activated by the Order in 2008 near Euston station in central London. In addition to providing social care and a night shelter, this centre stands out by the fact that it also provides medical care under contract with the National Health Service and the University College London Hospital: for the house has special units to deal specifically with the homeless suffering from tuberculosis, and providing home care for poor people discharged from hospital. Alistair Story spoke about the worrying spread of TB among the marginalised in London, showing that the service laid on by the Brothers of St John of God is so essential.

In the afternoon, the participants visited Olallo House and other public facilities in central London to take in the marginalised, enabling them to see for themselves the difficulties with which the local operators have to cope every day in a metropolis with a population of over 12 million.

The day ended with a convivial supper, looking forward to the final meeting which will be held on June 11 June in Brescia, Italy.  



| More

St John of God Brothers
St. Mary’s
Co. Louth
Tel: 00353 41 686 2607

© 2012 St John of God Brothers
Web Design: Colum Keating