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Rome Reports

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New Horizons: Helping people out in the streets

She overcame a serious illness. When she got healthy,  she says her Catholic faith motivated her to help people out on the streets. There, she learned much more than she expected. CHIARA AMIRANTE Founder, New Horizons "I felt this need to go to the most dangerous areas of Rome, which back then was the Termini train station. Its underground passages were a type of hell. People lived immersed in drugs and alcohol. I was exposed to new horizons of hell there.  The 'people of the night' is what I called that community. I had no idea that among them there were people from good families.â? So, in 1994 she founded the first New Horizons community. Nearly 20 years later, it has 174 centers, 152 service teams and also five so called "Cities of Heavenâ? where addicts undergo rehabilitation. Even though she founded the community, thousands more run it ever day. More than 200,000 'knights of the light,'  also played a huge role in building the community. CHIARA AMIRANTE Founder, New Horizons "Somehow I just realized that I was in Rome, at the heart of Christianity, at the heart of the Church with hundreds of shelters and soup kitchens, but there was no place for these young people who needed to undergo a  healing process. They needed to get away from so many bad habits. Out of this need, the New Horizons Community was born.â? The initiative welcomes those who need it the most by helping them overcome their addictions. The goal is to give them new horizons and to show them that despite the pain, there is still something to look forward to. BR/KLH AA VM - PR