City Angels

Best Practice: CITY ANGELS in Milano

During the last few years the Italian social and economic situation has gotten worse due to global recession and political uncertainty. This has caused an increase of the level of poverty and of phenomenon such as unemployment and homeless.

To face these and many other problems, a lot of voluntary associations have been created and “City Angels” is one of them.

HISTORY

In 1994 Mario Furlan founded this association in Milan but it was officially recognized and inaugurated in St. Carmine’s Church only in1995.

From then on City Angels has spread all over Italy: Rome, Turin, Florence, Venice, Cagliari, Messina, Brescia, Taranto, Parma, Rimini, Monza, Novara, Lecce, Como, Varese and Campomarino.

On May 2007 Letizia Moratti, former mayor of Milan, inaugurated “Casa Silvana”, a center of primary care in which hot meals and clean clothes are offered to homeless. It’s open all night long and receives lonely people, couples, families and pets too. The Center takes the name from Silvana, a clochard kidnapped by some exploiters who forced her to prostitute and then killed her.

ACTIVITIES

At first, City Angels volunteers used to help people who hung out at railway stations. Now they provide assistance and help in many other ways:

* Distribution of food, clothes, blankets and sleeping bags to homeless people and help to reach primary care centres;

* Help drug and alcohol addicted directing them to detoxing paths;

* Help prostitutes, distributing condoms so that volunteers can get in touch with them;

* Help immigrates during their documents regulation and social integration;

* Help elderly people with everyday check and distribution of 300 meals a day;

* Help disabled people guiding them on the street;

* Fight micro criminality;

* Help criminality victims, watching over the most dangerous places of the city;

* First intervention during offences, calling Police;

* Give assistance to prisoners in jail;

* Help students holding meetings about drugs and bullying in secondary and high school;

* Help animals from ill treatment and abandon.

During their duty City Angels volunteers have to wear a uniform so that they can be recognizable from citizens, tourists and people in need.

The uniform is composed by a blue beret, symbol of the peace forces, and a red jacket as rescue forces, with the City Angels emblem.

The emblem represent an eagle, symbol of courage and strenght, with its wings open to protect the city. Above the drawing there is the name of City Angels and the slogan written below means “solidarity and safety”.

If you want to be part of the association, you have to be of age and to follow a course about first aid, ethilism, toxic addiction ad personal defence. Every volounteer has to choose a “street name”, a sort of name code known only by the other volounteers, so he won’t be recognizible by strangers.

NUMBERS

According to the new statistics, City Angels has reached a great number of successes and objective, thanks to the collaboration with police forces and other no profit associations.

* Over 3000 000 meals have been distribuited to homeless people.

* Over 900 000 clothes, blankets and sleeping bags have been distribuited

* 4000 people have been helped in the streets, most of all women and elderly people

* 600 fights have been subdued

* 300 thefts, 250 robberies and 120 pickpockets have been baffled136 drugs addicted have been recovered and 107 people in overdose have been saved.

* 92 hurt or assaulted people have been saved.

The association has recived many prizes and nationl recognitions, like the “Ambrogino d’Oro”, the prize “Dono dell’Umanità” and the “Carlo Porta” prize.

CITY ANGELS VARESE

Coordinator: Maura Aimini “Yashu” varese@cityangels.it