“Shelter housing” (Vivienda refugio) is the name of a new project of the delegation for migrations of the diocese of Getafe – a suffragan diocese of the Archdiocese of Madrid – which seeks to create a network of temporary accommodation for migrants and refugees seeking asylum or international protection.

Father Fernando Redondo, the Getafe diocesan delegate for Migrations, explained that the project responds to the request made to Catholics, through the evangelisation plan of the diocese of Getafe, to promote the presence of diocesan-level reception centres for migrants and refugees.

Guide, accompany and integrate

The project in Getafe aims to guide and accompany the migrants – currently forced to spend nights on the street due to the lack of places in publicly-administered shelters – as well as to facilitate their integration in Spain.

“Although migration is a very complex reality, we cannot forget that many people are forced to move from one country to another, because of wars, economic inequalities, the search for work, religious and political persecution, terrorism and the ecological crisis”, Redondo explained.

“Faced with this reality, and in tune with the Universal Church in the person of Pope Francis himself, our diocese, while regretting the reasons that cause such a massive movement of people, is called to offer comfort, help and welcome to all those who come here”.

Accommodation, financial aid and legal consulting

The project will make available to migrants and refugees on the street places in shared rooms or in single apartments for a maximum period of six months, until they are assisted by government authorities.

Beneficiaries will also receive financial assistance to cover essential expenses, transportation and to pay for the supplt of utilities.

The Getafe faithful will be able to participate in the “Shelter housing” project by sharing their own house or by lending a property, by contributing to the financial support of the initiative, or by volunteering, in this latter case receiving prior training from the diocesan office for migrations.

Finally, the diocesan delegation for migrations will offer a legal consultation service at its headquarters, in the San José Hospital in Getafe.

(Source: Vatican News; translation: Novena)

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PhD in ancient Jewish/Christian history and philosophy. University ethics lecturer with 4 years' experience in religion journalism.