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I live on the street: don't help me

So says a controversial social media post of a Santafesina association. Find out why they're saying this.

Solidarity fingerprint

Little ago,  this winter COVID-19 brought us a very hard news. In the heart of the city of Cordoba, a girl died of cold sleeping on the street. Santa Fe capital, and surely many of the big Argentine cities, do not escape this reality. A few years ago, a mayor was proud that street life in the city was virtually zero. However, just by walking the streets of Santafesinas at night we find another reality. In the heart of the city of  Colón and Union  you can find people lying on pieces of cardboard and covered with precarious blankets or pieces of nylon. Thank God, in the face of the inaction of a State that did not find it a return to the subject, there is a civil association that carries out an activity of superlative importance. It's about the generous people of  Solidarydar .

These real street angels are a non-profit civil association run by volunteers.  They try to comprehensively address the problem of people in street situations in  the city of Santa Fe. They take care of the necessary planning so that there are fewer and fewer people without a roof.

And, precisely, planning is a key word in a job like that of this group. With her, it makes sense that post they made on Instagram and generated quite controversy in Santa Fe. The publication was a blue plaque with white letters that sentenced  “I live on the street, don't help me.”    At the touch, many jumped  angry  with messages like “what message are they giving? Not everyone will be able to get involved, so you have to help whenever you can.”

 Not only help 

But Solidarydar's explanation is forceful: “ Unplanned aid only takes root in life on the street . It lacks all the basic elements that form morality, dignity and human integrity. Experience has shown us that assistance in your place of stay is insufficient as the only tool to transform your reality. To transform the reality of the person, it is necessary to work on the substantive issues and not on the superficial.  It's about directing efforts to make the process really effective .”

The association is independent of party, religious  flags  and of any kind other than that of selfless support for those who no longer claim for their infringed rights.

Since 2014 they try to approach people in street situations, to provide them with restraint and listen, committing themselves to their personal  stories  . They seek alternatives  to find solutions to the substantive issues that are the causes  of such situations.

Currently, they have a key tool to translate their philosophy: a Centre for Social Reinsertion. In it, a group of people live from 19 to 7 the next day. They, at the time, were in a street situation, and in this place they find shelter, containment and food.

But in Solidarydar he always clarifies that this home is not a mass refuge for all people who are on the street. Residents are individualized, their consent is counted and new income is constantly evaluated.

The purpose of the center is  to work, in the long term, with the individual problems  of the people there.

 Night tours 

To the extent possible, the association always performs evening tours in conjunction with other volunteers who perform similar tasks. They are volunteers  of a wide age range, who dream of changing  one of the most painful reflexes of our reality. 

Faced with the current world situation, these volunteers share the sadness of finding that today there are still people who cannot fulfil social isolation as decreed by the State.  There are different causes that lead people to live in the street , but there is only one that motivates as a society to help those who have the least. It is the willingness to change reality.

There are no hierarchies in the group. There is only a  desire  to contribute a small effort to a cause that affects us all.  The sum of small individual efforts becomes a great transformative force  that already witnesses many stories with happy ending. Today, the only way out of this situation is solidarity towards others.

Publication Date: 03/08/2020

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