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Esteban Gumucio' Hostel opens (Chile)

On 22 May, the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts ‘Damien of Molokai Foundation’ initiated one of the components of the Night of Dignity (Winter Programme) sponsored by the Ministry of Social Development and Family (MIDESO), namely the Father Esteban Gumucio Hostel in the parish of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in Santiago, Chile.

For 9 years, the Congregation has been supporting and giving shelter to our brothers and sisters on the streets, following the legacy of Father Esteban and his solidarity with the poorest. Because of the health crisis in Chile, today more than ever we must have that collaborative and empathetic spirit.  

Moreover,  the Congregation, aware of the serious health situation that is affecting Chile in recent months, has placed at the disposal of the government the retreat house that is located in the district of Peñalolén. The competent authorities considered these facilities adequate for a second hostel to function there, preferably for older homeless adults.

By order of the Ministry of Health and in the context of CoronaVirus, the hostel can only hold a maximum of 20 persons and is to operate 24 hours a day, every day.

With the funds transferred to the Damien de Molokai Foundation by the Ministry of Social Development, these two hostels are to be run with two properly formed  teams of professionals and technicians.  Daily meals and medical care will also be provided to the residents.  

Without a doubt, it will be a great challenge for the managers and volunteers to take care of the 20 people in each shelter, for the 122 days that the Winter Plan involves, especially in these infectious times of the Covid-19 virus.