ONDS Report 2015: 520,000 cases by Help Centers for disadvantaged people in stations

1 and a half million calls answered in the last 5 years, with the number of Italians growing from 20% to 25%
Sala Auditorium- Presentazione Rapporto Onds 2015

Rome, 13 July 2016

21,292 homeless people contacted and registered with Help Centres in 2015. This figure represents 40% of the homeless population recorded by ISTAT. 9,135 of whom contacted a station Help Centre for the first time in their life.

Overall, Help Centres answered over 520,000 calls from registered or anonymous users, in particular migrants.

These figures are from the 2015 Report by the National Observatory on Hardship and Solidarity in Italian stations (ONDS), presented today in Rome at the headquarters of the Italian State Railway, in the presence of the President and CEO of the FS Italiane Group, Gioia Ghezzi and Renato Mazzoncini, the Vice-President of the Senate, Valeria Fedeli, the President of the INPS, Tito Boeri, the President of the National Board of the ANCI, Enzo Bianco, and the Director of ONDS, Alessandro Radicchi.

The report produces numbers and statistics on all the social work carried out in the 15 Help Centres (which became 16 last April with Trieste) inside railway stations spread all across Italy. These eye-catching numbers not only include help for the foreign population, but also for many Italians who have been forced below the poverty line by the economic crisis, a percentage which stood at 20% in the 2011 ONDS Report and now, after 5 years of crisis, has reached 25%.

This number only shows a snapshot of Help Centre activities and does not include the disadvantaged people and migrants who turn to other facilities set up in stations by the FS Italiane Group, such as the Don Luigi Di Liegro Caritas Hostel, the Central Milan Caritas Shelter or any of the reception facilities for migrants, political refugees and asylum seekers located at Roma Smistamento station such as the Padre P. Arrupe Centre run by the Astalli Centre Association, or the Central Milan migrant HUB run by the ARCA Project Foundation, where 90,000 migrants, mainly Syrians and Eritreans, have passed through.

Italian Help Centres, along with other reception centres, cover approximately 15,500 sqm of space inside large and medium-sized stations loaned out for free by FS Italiane to Municipalities and associations which serve as a reliable barometer of the country’s social situation.  

This year, the presentation of the report served as an opportunity to include the social activities of the Italian State Railway as part of the wider horizon of the 17 goals of the UN’s 2030 Agenda, as shown by Prof. Enrico Giovannini, while Prof. Stefano Zamagni covered the social activities of the FS Italiane Group in the new welfare model on circular subsidiarity.

Fabrizio Torella, head of corporate social activities at FS Italiane, drew proceedings to a close by underlining the importance of the synergy behind the Help Centre project which has made all this possible: a collaboration between public administration, the private sector and the tertiary sector, which has become a leading example for the rest of Europe and a model for all other railway networks. 

The President of WeWorld, Marco Chiesara, presented the results of the training project set up for workers at Help Centres in Rome and Naples to improve support for women who ask for help at our centres.

The event was moderated by the La Repubblica journalist, Roberto Petrini.