Health and Social Services and Vaccination Program

(Genoa, Italy)

ParticipantsInternational Association of Charity (AIC)

Daughters of Charity

Congregation of the Mission

St. Vincent de Paul Society

Daughters of Jesus of Nazareth (Vincentian Family)

It should be noted that the Vincentian Family together has some leverage with civil and Church authorities.

PlaceGenoa, Italy: Begato Quarter - C.P. 16159

First floor: Health and Social Services

Centro Diamante, via F. Maritano

The use of buildings belonging to "Istituto Case Popolari" (a public institution) were obtained for home care, social work, meetings. These locations are in an area furthest from the neighborhood, the areas which have the greatest needs.

Social contextThe location is in the outlying areas of the city, behind large housing projects. The great majority of families have low or non-existent incomes, and a high percentage of them are single parents or from broken families. In this neighborhood, the city's social services has allocated housing to a very diverse mixture of people, consequently there exists little, if any, sense of community.

The neighborhood is affected by a number of problems: unemployment, unrest among the young, alcoholism, drug addiction, difficulties with the law, problems with ex-convicts, and with people under house arrest.

An analysis of the situation by two parish priests of the area, along with a group of residents of the neighborhood, prioritized the needs:

- decentralized health and social services, or home care for the elderly

- young people in difficult situations

- ex-convicts

It was decided to work on the project in two stages:

First stage: decentralized health and social services (already exists)

Second Stage: Youth Center for young people in difficult situations (in the planning process)

SituationFirst Stage: Decentralized health and social services

Public health and social services are located at a distance from the population they serve. The elderly and handicapped have great difficulty accessing them.

Target groupThe elderly with health problems who are unable to care for themselves, people under house arrest who are unable to go out.

Objectives- To give assistance and simple treatments to home-bound elderly and sick

- To provide instruction in the area of self-management to those having difficulty in this area, through the use of a decentralized social service department.

- To be a Christian and Vincentian witness in serving each person.

ActivitiesService began October 1, 1997

- Home care services and treatments (personal hygiene for the sick, giving injections, blood pressure checks, and other forms of nursing care);

- Support for families where continuous assistance is necessary; contact with doctors;

- Instructing and assisting people with their paperwork

- Follow-up with the sick who are hospitalized

- To have a car available to take people to their appointments; volunteers offer their services as drivers

- Availability of social service services and instruction for the residents of the neighborhood

- Spiritual support

PersonnelThe personnel are all volunteers. They are comprised of:

- Three Sisters who are nurses

- One Sister who is a social worker

- One group of volunteers from AIC was formed from volunteers of other city groups as a sign of solidarity (about 20)

- the two groups of AIC who are the closest to the neighborhood, offer their support

- One local group of the St. Vincent de Paul Society already in existence

- One Priest of the Mission

Administrative Committee- The administrative committee is in the process of being developed. We anticipate that it will be composed of representatives of the four branches of the Vincentian family, from the neighborhood, and priests from the two parishes who have an interest in this project.

ProblemsThe places that the Center occupies at present are not exclusively for that use. It is necessary to find other places that can be used as decentralized parish centers as well, since the parish is at a distance.

Plan of Action The first stage represents the beginning of a presence in this neighborhood. We hope to be able to develop another project located at the other end of the neighborhood with the primary objective to respond to the needs of young people in crisis.

Genoa (Italy) : Quartiere - C.P. 16159

Second stage: center for the young in crisis

centro Polivalente, via Bach 3

The following activities are anticipated:

- center for children: health promotion and education

- center for adolescents, help with school work, sports

- community work group for unemployed youth, and if possible, for women released from prison.

The center is large and it can also include:

- a social center for the elderly

- a social service center for ex-convicts or people under house arrest

- a rehabilitation service for alcoholics

FinancingFor the implementation of the first stage, a partnership has already been established with certain associations, thanks to the availability of local resources.

For the day to day functioning, the higher expenses (medications and some recurrent expenses, such as heat, water, electricity, telephone) are covered by a contribution of the Vincentian Family: $5,000.00.

For the implementation of the second stage of the project (acquisition of some buildings and grounds from the old church):

- local contributions (parish and city social services) already paid: $59,000.00.

- foundation approved and a usage agreement was granted for 50 years - $118,000.00.

The projects are going to be presented to the city and regional councils.

Copyright 2009 Congregation of the Mission