Casa della carità (House of charity, in English) is a foundation that pursues social and cultural aims.
It was instituted in 2002 by archbishop Carlo Maria Martini , who wanted to leave to the city of Milan a place where the poorest and most marginalized people could find shelter and support. The structure, an old and out of use school, has been bestowed to the foundation by the Mayor of Milan, and it has been restored thanks to a legacy left by the businessman Angelo Abriani.
The guarantors of the house are the Mayor and pro-tempore archbishop of Milan, and president is don Virginio Colmegna. Casa della carità is located in Milan, via Brambilla 10.
Casa della carità's principle aim is to give shelter to everybody who lives in a condition of social, cultural and economical marginalization. This objective is pursued through the different services offered by the house, that can be synthesized as follows
Casa della carità is a real house, where guests, social operators and volunteers are linked together by an open relation of mutual trust and respect. The house welcomes everyday 150 people: men, women, singles, families, italians and foreigners are hosted in the house for a determined period of time, and are actively involved in their own social and economical re-integration project. In fact, the people that find a shelter in the House, generally come from a condition of relational and economical poverty: our challenge is to give a concrete answer to their needs and to support their path towards social and economical inclusion. The first step is to tie every guest with a personal relation of trust, in order to promote the confidence necessary to chart a common and shared course for social and economical inclusion, mainly by helping the guests in improving their working skills, in finding a job and an allocation.
In order to give a concrete answer to the distinctive features and needs of its guests, the house provides different kinds of allocation:
- Adam House, which has 10 rooms for the hospitality of single men, for a maximum of 53 people;
- Sarah House, which has 9 rooms for the hospitality of single women, for a maximum of 20 people;
- Casa Nido flats, for the hospitality of three single-mother families in condition of social and economical hardship;
- So-stare community, a residential community for guests with psychiatric diseases, who need a particular care and allocation. It welcomes a maximum of 10 people. (So-stare in Italian means “I can stay”)
The counseling center is open everyday, and it provides social assistance and psychological support to everybody who needs help . It is the place where everybody who's knocking at the house door can be listened to and point out his/her real need: a shelter, a job, social or legal free support, medical or psychiatrical care or assistance. This service works in connection with the other services of the House and integrated with the public institutions and the non- profit associations of the city.
It promotes equity and legal guardianship, and offers legal guidance to everybody who needs free legal assistance: guests of the house, people sent by the counseling center, roma people followed by the projects of the House or living in camps or irregular slums.
It offers an essential service to everybody who hasn't other chances of self-care: homeless people, roma people or immigrants living in slums or irregular camps . It offers the possibility of having a hot shower and receiving clean clothes three times a week, and it is a concrete chance for the operators of the house to meet and try to create a relationship to the people living in the most marginalized situations. Sometimes, through this service, the most vulnerable people knocking at the house door can find access to the other services of the house ( medical or legal assistance, hospitality etc...), and to undertake a course toward their social and economical inclusion.
Inside the house there is a medical and a psychiatric ambulatory, which provides free medical and psychiatric assistance to everybody who needs medical care or pycological support, and who can't rely on the public sanitary service ( in particular roma people or immigrants without regular documents and sanitary insurance).
The principle aim of this service is to support the re-integration projects of all the guest of the house and of all the people asking for a job at the counseling center. It provides them work placement and vocational guidance through different activities, that can be synthesized in the following planning actions:
- the evaluation and assessment of the professional skills and experiences, with final compilation of the curriculum vitae;
- careers and professional guidance, that can consist also in the evaluation of different possibilities of improving/updating working skills;
- active support in job-seeking;
- take charge of the most difficult cases, by structuring a personalized project of job integration.
Hand in hand with the day-care activities, the Foundation deals with culture, through its own academy, which organizes training courses, stages, seminars and workshops on the themes of social hardship and marginalization. Inside the house there is also “Biblioteca del Confine” (the Boundaries Library), a qualified library which gathers publications and books on social and economical themes, and “SOUQ – Centro Studi Sofferenza Urbana” (Urban Suffering Studies Center), a study centre that studies the phenomenon of urban suffering. The Cultural Academy organizes also other kind of events about arts and culture is linked with the everyday life of the House.
Casa della carità “Angelo Abriani”
Via Francesco Brambilla 10
20128 Milano - Italy
Phone: +39 02 25 935 317