In 2022, the Ministry of Human Rights and Citizenship (MDHC) reported that at least 3,189 people lived on the streets in Porto Alegre, Brazil, which represents 0.24 percent of the population. Concern about the growing number of homeless people in the capital of Rio Grande do Sul has sparked the need to invest in welcoming and rehabilitating this group.
For this reason, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) opened the Tchê Protege halfway house for homeless people in the city's South Zone on October 25, 2023, in partnership with the Social Assistance and Citizenship Foundation (FASC).
The opening day was attended by Sebastião Melo, mayor of Rio Grande do Sul, Daniel Frittoli, ADRA's director for Rio Grande do Sul, and Cristiano Roratto, president of FASC. The halfway house can accommodate up to 50 adult men and will operate 24 hours a day. The entire service will be provided by the ADRA and FASC teams.
"It is only possible to enter the halfway house after an assessment by FASC. The people taken in will be directed to one of the specialized services, which will refer them to their family of origin, the job market, and other services until they can reorganize themselves," says Roratto.
The main objective of the Tchê Protege halfway house is not only to take in homeless people but also to rehabilitate them and reintegrate them into society. As Roratta mentioned, those taken in will be sent back to their families of origin, the job market and other social services. Bed, bath, and food are guaranteed for all of them.
"FASC's intention to help and offer this population support to organize themselves and restructure their lives is in line with ADRA's institutional objective of promoting justice, compassion, and love. So, for us, it was a joy to be able to participate in this moment for the municipality's social assistance, with such an important service to support homeless people," says Frittoli.