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Rome Reports

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Vincentian Family Homeless Alliance seeks to stop homelessness

In November 2018, the Vincentian Family Homeless Alliance launched the 13 Houses campaign. It is an attempt to help address homelessness across the world.

It was also to mark the 400th Anniversary since St. Vincent De Paul founded the 13 houses project in France. 

Group Chief Executive of Depaul International
“In 1643 he was left the equivalent of a million dollars by Louis XIII of France in his will. He at that point was working with 1,000 street children in Paris. He thought long and hard and then decided he wanted to establish a long term response to this issue of dealing with street children so he bought 13 houses in Paris.”

After relaunching this idea for the modern world, the Vincentian Family Homeless Alliance have already got 36 countries involved in this project. 

They have also reinvented and extended the project in order to help address modern day problems.

Group Chief Executive of Depaul International
“In India, for example, we are building more than 13 houses but instead over 40 houses. This is for victims of floods in Kerala. We are also refurbishing houses for people in the slums of Bangalore. So everywhere we go in the world the need is slightly different. What we're seeing here is don't to get stuck in it just being a housing project. This is something that is going to help homeless people in a broader context.”

Mark McGreevy, Group Chief Executive of Depaul International, notes how important Pope Francis has been in bringing attention to issues such as homelessness and the refugee crisis. 

Group Chief Executive of Depaul International
“His focus on land, labor, lodgings has been central to what gives dignity to the human person. It has been at the core of why we decided to go ahead with this project. We are hoping that later this year in his visit to Madagascar to visit her Fr. Pedro Opeka, he'll reinforce this theme. In fact one of the places in which are helping to build 13 houses is actually in Madagascar and we are looking to announce that at the same time the pope visits.”

The 13 Houses Campaign target is to “improve and transform the lives of 10,000 home-less, refugee, internally displaced persons, and slum dwellers in the next three to five years.”