Help us finish the refurbishment of our canteen so we can continue to support people in need

We are the first and, to date, only shelter for people suffering from housing problems, social exclusion or mental illness in Ticino.

We opened in 2004 in a facility offering a very limited number of beds. Thanks to support from many, in 2015 we were able to move to a new, larger building in Mendrisio, allowing us to satisfy an increasing number of emergency support requests. Today we have 23 beds in 11 rooms. Since we opened, we have hosted more than 1000 people in need.

Thanks to the kind support of two foundations, this year we managed to refurbish our old kitchen, which was no longer up to standard. But to complete the works we now need to finish refurbishing the dining room and the toilets.

By donating to this project you will enable us to continue to provide meals to our guests as we have been able to do until today.

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My project is special because...

To date we are the first and only shelter for people in need of temporary support in Italian-speaking Switzerland. Our guests are typically 75% men and 25% women, and we also support families with children. Over the last few years, the majority of guests (arond 60%) have been either Swiss or domiciled in Switzerland.

In addition to offering board and lodging, we collaborate closely with public and private bodies in Switzerland and abroad to make sure the people we host on a temporary basis can go on to a better situation and better conditions than when they arrived at our centre.

We are recognized by the Canton of Ticino’s government as a public interest service, but we only benefit from very small direct state contributions. Every year we only manage to complete our projects thanks to funding from private individuals and charitable foundations.

Our canteen caters not only for those we host in our structure but also offers meals to others coming from outside who are unable to provide for their livelihood, or can only partially do so, and also acts as a place for social gatherings and as help point support forindividuals who need concrete and often urgent help.

Our project is the only one of its kind in Italian-speaking Switzerland. Your kind help will enable it to continue to exist.

Why we need urgent help

Thanks to support from two charitable foundations, in 2017 we managed to refurbish our old kitchen, which was no longer fit for purpose. We now need to complete the rest of the building works so that the whole canteen, including its dining room, complies with state regulations.

Since mid-October however, the renovation has had to slow down due to lack of funds. We need additional, urgent help to complete both the canteen and the toilets.

The new canteen will accommodate more than 40 people and will have new, separate toilets for women and men, plus one for the disabled. The dining room will also be used for the many entertainment activities we have been organizing for years, offering opportunities for socialization, recreation and reflection for both our guests and the public. In recent years we have organized debates on various topics relating to our activities, book launches, film screenings, exhibitions, used book fairs, themed dinners and more.

In short, we provide an important service to both our guests and the local population. Your support will therefore help both our guests in need, other associations and the local population in general, who has already given us immense support and is continuing to help us.

A heartfelt thank you from all of us!

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