Five years ago, a small flame of hope ignited in Little Rock, USA, as the first house of the 13 Houses Campaign was built. We couldn’t imagine that, five years later, this flame of charity would spread across 64 countries, transforming the lives of 10,000 people.
Following the steps of St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac, guided by the Vincentian charism and inspired by the 17th century Vincentian charities who provided homes for homeless people and aid to those displaced by war, the 13 Houses Campaign was born in 2018.
In a world where 1.2 billion people are experiencing homelessness, the Vincentian Family came together to confront this global crisis.
Thanks to the unity and commitment of the Vincentian Family, 102 varied projects around the world have emerged to serve different people experiencing homelessness and lacking a safe place to call home.
Recognizing that there is not one single solution to ending homelessness, each project responds to the needs of the local community. As a result, 13 Houses projects are diverse, ranging from house refurbishments in Lebanon to a community self-build scheme in Madagascar. For further examples, click here.
Collaboration and knowledge-sharing remain at the heart of the Campaign, with partnerships with other organizations leading to innovative solutions. Besides just building houses, these efforts also reached out with education and support to help people exit the cycle of poverty.
Natalie Monteza, 13 Houses Campaign Coordinator reflected on this transformative journey:
“Transforming the lives of 10,000 people worldwide over five years was a core goal of the 13 Houses Campaign, and we’re pleased to say this has been achieved. Through the Vincentian Family’s work in 64 countries, new and innovative solutions have seen more people exit homelessness.”
Mark McGreevy, President of the Depaul Group and Coordinator of Famvin Homeless Alliance, emphasized the significance of these projects:
“Projects in the 13 Houses Campaign answer the all-important Vincentian question: what must be done? By bringing together the expertise of Vincentians worldwide, projects have responded to local needs and have had a profound impact on the lives of 10,000 people.”
As we celebrate this milestone, Pope Francis’s message for this year’s World Day of the Poor echoes in our hearts:
“In this house of ours, which is the world, everyone has a right to experience the light of charity; no one must be deprived of that light.”
The Famvin Homeless Alliance calls on more countries to join the 13 Houses Campaign. The goal is audacious yet heartfelt: to see at least one project in each one of the 156 countries where the Vincentian Family is active. The dream is to end homelessness for more people worldwide.
The Vincentian Family, with their vivid testimony in participating in the 13 Houses Campaign, illuminates a path towards a world where everyone has a place to call home and a stake in their community.