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Rome Reports

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Vatican gets ready to open night shelter for homeless

First came a barber shop for homeless. Then tours of the Vatican museums for the needy. Now the Vatican is taking things a step further by working on a nightly shelter for the needy.

The project is still in the works, but the location is set.  It will be opened on Via dei Penitenzieri, just a few feet away from the Vatican's colonnade. 

"I think they've gone through a lot and I feel like there's a lot that we can do to help each other.â? 

The shelter will reportedly have around 30 beds and it will be run by volunteers. Exactly when the facility will open has yet to be announced. 

"We need to be realistic and show solidarity with the homeless.â? 

"Poverty is a reality that cannot be ignored. There's a real need to help these people out.â? 

Many homeless people gather around the Vatican area to sleep at night, especially since food is routinely handed out.  

"If they are getting help with their addictions and getting them on their feet I think thatâ??s a good idea. If itâ??s just a place to house them, then itâ??s not gonna help them out in the long run.â?

The future shelter is part of a set of initiatives that have been launched under Pope Francis' pontificate to help people out on the streets. 

"I think it's a great idea. It will give homeless people a place to sleep and a place to eat.â? 

The Vatican says it's not just about helping, but about restoring human dignity.