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Pope Francis opens a laundromat for the homeless

2017-04-15

Pope Francis always remembers how important it is to help the homeless. That is why, through the Vatican's charities, the Sant'Egidio Community has instituted a laundromat so the people who live in the streets can at least wash what little they have.

PAOLO CIANI
Community of Sant'Egidio
"It is a great system in order to help the poor who live on the streets. We already know how attentive Pope Francis is when caring for these people. For those who do not have a house, it is fundamental for them to wash their clothes because if they get dirty and spoil them, they must throw their clothes away.”

It will be open on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and is located in Via San Gallicano, in the Trastevere area, very close to the Vatican.

Pope Francis has recently been relying on the Community of Sant'Egidio. One example is when he brought refugees with him from Lesbos last year. Sant'Egidio is already offering Italian classes to facilitate the integration of immigrants, so this laundromat will join other initiatives this summer.

PAOLO CIANI
Community of Sant'Egidio
"We want to install showers and also distribute clothes. We want the San Gallicano, which was a place where both the poor and the rich were catered for, to be a welcoming place in the center of the city for all those who need it."

Procter & Gamble, which provides razors for the barber shop for the poor near St. Peter's Square, proposed this idea of the laundromat. The answer was an immediate yes.

RENATO SCIARILLO
P &G Representative
"This is a first step for people to recover their self-esteem and improve their appearance. This service helps them not only live in more hygienically favorable conditions, but also to be able to present themselves in a healthy manner to society and in a job interview."

In Rome, about seven thousand people live in the streets and in precarious conditions. This laundry service will help them at least feel cleaner, integrated in society and above all, less judged by others.

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