Welcome to the 13 Houses Campaign and thank you for your interest!
In the meantime, we would love to tell you a bit more about how the 13 Houses Campaign came into existence and what we hope to achieve with your help.
The 13 Houses Campaign is a movement born out of the Famvin Homeless Alliance (FHA) and shares its aim to reduce and, where possible, end all forms of homelessness in the countries in which the Vincentian Family works.
When the FHA was first launched, we found ourselves confronted with the unimaginable scale of homelessness in the world: 1.2 billion women, men and children were estimated to be without a home (Cfr. IGH Overview of Global Homelessness and Strategies for Systemic Change). Many of them were turned away in their greatest time of need, being a stark reminder of those words that dampen the joy of Luke’s infancy narrative: “There was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:7)
With this tragic reality in mind, we turned to St. Vincent for guidance and inspired by reflections of “Welcoming the Stranger” we started to wonder “What if…?”
What if we could welcome the stranger by providing them with the sanctuary of their own home?
What if we could shelter thousands of our poorest brothers and sisters around the world?
What if we could make room for them at the inn?
St. Vincent himself had asked these questions and for him, they led to an initiative that changed the lives of thousands of abandoned children: The 13 Houses (Cfr. “St. Vincent de Paul and the Homeless” by Fr. Maloney, CM). He built these small houses in Paris and rented them to the Ladies of Charity so that they could care for these children in collaboration with the Daughters of Charity.
The need for such houses remains just as relevant today as it was then, and inspired us to place them at the heart of a campaign to support the efforts of the FHA: The 13 Houses Campaign.
The Campaign invites you to reflect on St. Vincent’s inspiration behind the 13 Houses and his collaborative approach and implementation with other members of the Vincentian Family. It is a call to action, asking all members of the Vincentian Family to work together to build their very own version of the 13 Houses in all 151 countries where the Vincentian Family works – bringing a home to 10,000 people or more!
We understand the 13 Houses to be an allegory for providing the very things they initially stood for: safety, community, warmth, hope and a future. There is no prescription as to how your 13 Houses have to look like – as long as they address an urgent need and have a systemic and long-term view. We understand the many challenges on the ground, but we also believe in the creativity and ingenuity of the Vincentian Family to finding novel solutions; no matter the environment.