10 years of Train de Vie
We have started this adventure ten years ago, opening the doors of an empty space behind the Pescara railway station. Today, that same empty space overflows with life and stories. Year after year we entered the fabric of the city of Pescara, its underground, its hidden beds, and its non-places, in an attempt to bring a new voice and a different possibility.
Being part of the street allows us to listen clearly to the cries of those who no longer have a voice, to look beyond appearances, and makes us be “hard without ever losing tenderness”, as Ernesto Che Guevara said.
We do not save people’s lives, we are not heroes, we are human beings who see in another person a resource. We are human beings who want to give a chance to those who no longer hope.
Talking exclusively about a service to people, who is now turning years, is reductive with the Help Center Train de Vie. The Help Center has become home to hundreds and hundreds of people in need and has been a gateway to the street where anyone felt welcomed and heard. It has been, and it is until today, the only accessible space for those who have no other places to go, for those who can no longer perceive something that truly belongs to them, for those who have remained alone. In these 10 years, many have been at our side until the last day of their lives and, sometimes, the strength to support the many burdens of these interrupted lives seems not to be enough.
We do not save people’s lives, we are not heroes, we are human beings who see in another person a resource. We are human beings who want to give a chance to those who no longer hope. During this year where the Coronavirus pandemic tried to block us and bring in the fear of the other, we did not take any steps back. We went back to the foundations of proximity, and we’ve reconstructed a new way of being close and present, in order to not leave anyone behind.
From the street, we have created a bridge of proximity that arrives inside the Help Center. Today this bridge continues its journey arriving in 4 houses where former homeless people rebuild a dignified life day after day.
In 10 years we had 90738 accesses.
132496 people have benefited from our low thresholds services such as shower, breakfast, luggage and document storage, charging of electrical devices, use of telephone and electronic equipment, and laundry.
We delivered essential goods, such as food packages, clothing, personal hygiene products, and blankets, to 9637 homeless people.
1711 are the people we have taken over: 373 women, 1336 men, and 2 transexual people. 31% Italians, 33% from the European Union (prevalent Romanian nationality), 27% of Third Countries and 8% not detected. 52% of them are between 30 and 49 years old, while 25% are between 18 and 29.
Every room, every activity, every laboratory tells an intense moment of life of a person in difficulty. Today, this makes us remember extremely complex moments, but also enormous results. Today, this makes us think that the great efforts made have made sense.
Since 2017 we manage a space made available by the municipal authority for the shelter of homeless people in the coldest periods of the year.
The first year we welcomed a total of 118 people.
In 2018 there were 135. In 2019, 149.
This year we will face a twofold challenge: one against the grip of the cold and one against the coronavirus. We will open a shelter that will be able to welcome homeless people left out of structured hospitality.
What made us different?
Smile, closeness, the abstention of judgment, and the desire to expose ourselves in the first person. But also and above all professionalism. We have overcome the concepts of assistance and charity and we have embarked on aid for autonomy and subsidiarity. The DNA of the Cooperative On the Road has solidified in us the ideas to promote and produce innovative activities, to be always ready to face the changes of a society that more and more brings to the door those who remain behind. Every room, every activity, every laboratory tells an intense moment of the life of a person in difficulty. Today, this makes us remember extremely complex moments, but also enormous results. Today, this makes us think that the great efforts made, have made sense.
We are sons and daughters of On the Road.
We are sons and daughters of a reality that has decided to fight alongside the most vulnerable persons.
There are no invisible people for us, there are only people you choose not to see.
Thank you to all the people who have lived and helped in the development of this adventure.
Help Center Train de Vie