History of the Mission
The Mission of Hope and Charity was established in 1991, beneath the arches of the Central Station in Palermo thank to brother Biagio Conte, a secular missionary.
The Mission’s charisma is to host and devote itself to the new poors around the city or those who are excluded by a society this indifferent; they are called homeless, wanderers, young drifters, drunk men, ex-cons, separated, prostitutes, refugees, immigrants, but inside the Mission we call everybody “brother and sister” with no difference.
Currently the Mission welcomes and assists approximately 800 people in three communities: two of them are destined to welcome men while one hosts single women or mothers with their children.
Reception inside the Mission
The Mission welcomes and assists approximately 1100 people thanks to the work of missionaries Brother Biagio, Don Pino, Brother Giovanni, Sister Mattia, Sister Alessandra and Sister Lucia, the collaboration of the hosted brothers and sisters and the great help provided by more than 400 volunteers.
Every community is equipped with a kitchen and a canteen where three meals per day are distributed (overall about 2.400 meals per day); medical and pharmaceutical assistance is guaranteed to all the hosted brothers as well as showers and clothes to many poor knocking at the Mission door everyday.
A Mission, three Communities
The Mission of Hope and Charity operates in three communities: two of them welcome men while one does the same with single women or mums with their children.
The buildings in which the Mission operates are located in Palermo, near the Central Station. They have been found in a serious state of neglect and degradation, since they had been abandoned many years before (some rooms were real ruins with their roof collapsed!). The same brothers who have been welcomed, together with a lot of volunteers, groups and associations, with great spirit of solidarity, have started to restore and rebuild several structures in ruin. They have done it “stone by stone”, as St. Francis tells; turning ruins into houses of receptio, hope and charity.
The Mission is an open project. There are no limits. A lot of initiatives have been launched. Others have to.