In this line we search for the creation of spaces that make social inclusion possible through direct contact, accompaniment and sensitization amongst the homeless population and those in a temporary homeless state in Medellín, Colombia (South America). The line carries out several activities that on one hand, allow for the development of theoretical and empirical knowledge of the homeless, their reality, lore and lifestyle, and on the other hand recognize their dignity. Our main methodology is Active Listening which allows us to draw close to the homeless once we have established being on equal terms concerning fears, expectations, disillusions, triumphs and all the other situations that our volunteers and they face in life.
Since 2014 we have been part of the Network for Life and Soul (Red para el Alma y la Vida) which is made up of different foundations dedicated to work with the same kinds of populations. This network’s objective is to provide comprehensive care to the homeless and we are in charge of street liaison. Street liaison is the carrying out of activities that allow us to draw close and establish ties and companionship that enable us to remit the homeless, if they so choose, to what the rest of the network has to offer.
The homeless line has active programs that are constantly structuring projects that are guided to meeting its objectives. The line has also carried out peaceful demonstrations concerning situations that involve the homeless population in Medellín.
In this program we walk downtown Medellín, Barrio Triste (a central neighborhood), and the river walk every Thursday to drink chocolate whilst participating in artistic activities with some of the characters that live there who, without a doubt have a lot of experiences to transmit.
The method used is active listening and catharsis through art, in which we serve as a support for the homeless as they express their emotions. The mediums used are paint, sculpture, poetry and literature. By doing this we promote the creation of bonds and reaffirm true equality which makes drawing close easier.
If you happen to be in the city of Medellin, come join us in this activity and change your view about this social issue! Meeting point is thursdays (all year round) at 7:30 p.m. at the Cisneros Metro Station.
On March 2014 we organized the commemorative walk that we called “The street is in mourning” to reject the acts of violence that occurred during that month downtown Medellin in which several victims were homeless people. Read our public statement here [ES].
More than 60 students, professionals, volunteers and homeless walked with us that day, outraged and moved by the use of violence, no matter who it is used by. They rejected together its use as a means to an end. These are some images of this beautiful and symbolic event: