700 beds and health care – Corriere.it

from Massimo Maxentius

The protocol signed in the prefecture includes individualized projects

Not just sleeping arrangements, but an innovative approach to ensuring 700 beds, healthcare and individualized projects. Turin becomes the first Italian city to create a network of services for the homeless thanks to a revolutionary Memorandum of Understanding and an investment of more than 12 million euros. The agreement, signed yesterday in the prefecture, is the result of more than a year of work and involves the municipality, the region, the capital city, the Asl city of Turin, the districts of the archdiocese and the Italian association of homeless organizations. The pandemic has exacerbated social unrest, with an estimated 2,000,500 homeless people currently living in Turin. 60% come from other areas, many are foreigners and there are also many women, different families and for some time even children. To address this emergency, which becomes even more dramatic during the winter months, it was necessary to disregard the various political interpretations of the homeless problem.

Thanks to the spirit of cooperation from all the institutions involved, which is also available to take a few steps back, it was possible to find a synthesis that will allow us to start a 360-degree accompanying path – explained prefect Raffaele Ruberto -. Thanks to the increase in housing opportunities, homeless people will have the opportunity to settle in apartments provided by the Municipality and the third sector. They will have a GP and healthcare provider, like all citizens, and will be accompanied by volunteers who will explain to them how they can take advantage of this new network of services. The 700 beds, almost all in homes, have already been identified. The homeless will be able to remain in the structures without time constraints, but they will start a project aimed at a gradual social reintegration.

In addition, the hospitality houses will always remain open 24 hours a day: the pandemic has made a problem that already existed more obvious – said Mayor Stefano Lo Russo -. Instead of removing it, we decided to try to solve it, not by taking as a starting point the problems that these people may cause for others, but by focusing on their needs. It is important to integrate the city’s social services with health services, as many of these people have health, mental and addiction problems. It is important that the solution is long-term, thanks to a large investment, which we also make by drawing on NRP’s resources. No one is under the illusion that within a few days, under the arcades in the center of Turin, there will be no more makeshift beds where homeless people will spend their nights. The medium-term goal is to go from contingency management to development assistance planning.

The precondition for access to services (around 500,000 euros in health services provided by the region, starting from the general practitioner) will be the (initially) fictitious housing, which will give the homeless the opportunity to obtain the health card. And then the goal is to overcome dormitories and temporary reception structures, such as the one in front of the Duomo or in via Traves: It will not be easy – underlined Archbishop Cesare Nosiglia -. Many of these people sometimes reject the help offered to them. For this reason, the work of convincing the volunteers in the territory, the street units, will be very important. It is also necessary to coordinate access to services, in particular health services, in order to avoid a concentration of requests, but for Cristina Avonto, national president of the Fiopsd, it is necessary to redistribute aid throughout the territory: in Turin there are already 70 “housing first “housing and is destined to rise. The road will be long and the results may not be immediate, but it is not true that homeless people do not want to be helped. We need to know how to intercept them.

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2 May 2022 (change 2 May 2022 | 21:12)

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