Rome (Agenzia Fides) – Italian Caritas, since the early days of the Covid-19 emergency, has intensified contact and coordination of the 218 diocesan Caritas in Italy. The first national survey, conducted from 9 to 24 April, made it possible to photograph the changes in needs, weaknesses and requests addressed to the Caritas listening centers and services, following the impact of Covid-19. The data refer to 101 diocesan Caritas, equal to 46% of the total.
The doubling of people who for the first time turn to the listening centers and services of the diocesan Caritas with respect to the pre-emergency period is confirmed. The demand for basic necessities, food, food and meals at home, solidarity emporiums, canteens, clothing is growing, but also the request for economic aid for the payment of bills, rents and expenses for the management of the house. At the same time, the need for listening, psychological support, companionship and orientation for bureaucratic practices related to support and work measures increases. A comforting figure is the involvement of the community and the solidarity activation which in 76.2% of the Caritas monitored involved public bodies, private bodies or third sector, parishes, voluntary groups, individuals.
The monitoring carried out confirms that in 59.4% of Caritas young volunteers, under 34, engaged in activities and services, increased, which made it possible to cope with the drop in the over 65 who remained inactive for precautionary reasons. Unfortunately 42 volunteers and operators tested positive for Covid 19 in 22 diocesan Caritas and in 9 Caritas 10 deaths were registered. In the face of changing needs and requests, services and interventions have also changed or adapted, in particular: listening and telephone support services with 22,700 contacts registered or even in presence in hospitals and in RSA; the supply of takeaway meals and home deliveries for more than 56,500 people; the supply of personal protective equipment and sanitizing devices to approximately 290,000 people; support activities for nomads, carousels and circus performers forced to settle; the purchase of medicines and health products; the remodeling of services for the homeless; psychological support services; family aid initiatives for smart working and distance learning; interventions in support of small businesses; accompaniment to the experience of mourning.
Many dioceses have made their facilities available to doctors and/or nurses, quarantined and homeless people. To date, 68 structures for almost 1,450 places made available to the Civil Protection and the National Health System by 48 Dioceses throughout Italy. To these are added 46 other structures, for over 1,100 places in 34 Dioceses, available for people in quarantine and/or discharged from hospitals and more than 64 structures for over 1,200 places in 42 dioceses for the additional reception of homeless people, in addition to ordinary residential hospitality. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 4/5/2020)