The 13 Houses Campaign is a Famvin Homeless Alliance initiative and aims to improve and transform the lives of 10,000 homeless people around the world in 3-5 years from 2018. More than that, we want to see 13 Houses projects in each of the 156 countries where the Vincentian Family works!
It started when Vincent was assigned the equivalent of one million dollars by Louis XIII as an endowment for his Congregation’s mission in 1643. Vincent chose to use the money to build 13 small houses close to Saint-Lazare, the motherhouse of the Congregation of the Mission, to care for abandoned children. The ongoing costs of these houses were supported by the Ladies of Charity while the Daughters of Charity cared for the children. By working together the Vincentian Family helped thousands of children who would have otherwise died on the streets.
But this Vincentian partnership did so much more for homeless people. It delivered aid to displaced people in the war zone of Alsace Lorraine and supported and housed refugees fleeing from the battle zone. It provided the Name of Jesus Hospice in 1652 to shelter, clothe, feed and train older people living on the streets or in the slums of Paris. It was responsible for the launch of Les Petites Ecoles (the little schools) that brought the gifts of literacy, numeracy and education to the poor – enabling them to escape the inter-generational poverty that so often ended in homelessness.
We were inspired by Vincent’s 13 houses. He saw a need and responded with concrete action. Today, we are confronted with the same problems that Vincent faced, but on a global scale. Of the 7 billion people on this planet almost 1.2 billion are homeless – they have been displaced, live in slums or on the streets of our cities. Many of them are turned away in their greatest time of need – 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)
The 13 Houses Campaign has been created in response to this reality; learning and borrowing from the work of St Vincent himself.
Help us end homelessness – One house at a time.
News and updates
Fourteen million people fled their homes in search of safety and more than 800,000 homes have been destroyed: frightening numbers that have been seen in Ukraine since the Russian invasion in February 2022 to today (UNHCR). The Vincentian Family has showed great...
According to data from the Philippines' National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), Super Typhoon Rai (local name Odette) which hit a large part of the Philippines on 16 December 2021 resulted to around 405 casualties and 78 missing people....
Anyone can suddenly end up with no place to call home, but homelessness doesn’t affect everyone in the same way, with the experience of women completely different to the experience of men. (CYREANS, 2021). Whilst men are more likely to sleep rough or to make use of...
Papua New Guinea (PNG) is the largest country of the Melanesian Region in the South Pacific and ranks among the most culturally diverse worldwide, home to approximately 8.8 million people and 840+ ethno-linguistic groups (World Bank 2019). PNG remains close to the...
The Daughters of Charity and their “13 Houses” Upendo Program are taking to the streets to commemorate the International Day for Street Children in Kitale, Kenya. Children are among the most vulnerable homeless groups, but their voices are barely heard. This walk on...
Botswana, France and Italy have joined the “13 Houses” Campaign with three very different projects. We are happy to have reached the benchmark of 50 countries with at least one “13 Houses” project, and even more to welcome France, the birthplace of the Vincentian...
Over 7,000 lives have been transformed thanks to the “13 Houses” Campaign. In just 3 years this global endeavour has gone from a single house in Macon, Georgia (USA) to more than 70 projects in almost 50 countries with up to 2,000 houses built. Project after project,...
Happy Feast of the Miraculous Medal! As we celebrate the apparition of the Virgin Mary to St Catherine Labouré almost two centuries ago, in the FHA we are also celebrating three years of the “13 Houses” Campaign! In this time, Vincentians all over the world have...
Noel has lost everything during this pandemic... even his beloved Rosie. Noel was at home, looking forward to a quiet Christmas with his little dog, Rosie, when he got the crushing news from his landlord — Noel had to leave his home... At almost 70 years of age, he...
How to get involved
Create a 13 Houses project
No matter how big or small – any idea could eventually turn into a 13 Houses project. If you have seen people in your community experiencing some form of homelessness, we invite you to reflect on that archetypal Vincentian question: What must be done?
Bring your ideas to paper and talk about it with other groups within the Vincentian Family and/or partners that can help to make the idea a reality. You can use our Project Development Tool to help you structure your thoughts and assess what needs to be done. This might be taking your project to the next level or creating an entirely new one.
The 13 Houses Campaign encourages global collaboration across the Vincentian Family so think about how that might help you. For example, you may need support to “market” your project to a broader audience, or write up a realistic budget. It may be the first time you are working to help a specific group of people, or the first time to develop a housing project. The Vincentian Family has a wealth of expertise in all of these areas and there could be people in other countries able to share their experiences of similar projects with you.
The FHA is in place to link you up and to support you along the way so please get in touch with any questions you may have – we are always happy to help!
Give to the Solidarity Fund
The Solidarity Fund has been set up to support poorer countries and branches to receive vital funds needed for them to realize their 13 Houses projects. By donating money to the Solidarity Fund, you help us to offer financial assistance to the countries and branches that need it most; it is held and distributed by the Congregation of the Mission International Fund.
Our ability to provide funds for specific projects depends entirely on the generosity of Vincentian Family members and groups, and we are hence incredibly grateful for any gifts.
If you would like to support the Solidarity Fund, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Apply for a grant
Thank you for your involvement in the 13 Houses Campaign and for your interest in applying to the Solidarity Fund.
Please check your eligibility here. If you are eligible, please send us your project, using the Solidarity Fund application form available here. It will go through an assessment process to clarify all aspects for FHA to better advocate for your project before potential donors.
To receive further information on the Solidarity Fund and an application form, please contact fha.info[a]famvin.org
We also have a step-by-step guide for applying to other Trust and Foundations here.
Volunteer your expertise
If you have in-depth knowledge in a specific field, why not make that expertise available to the wider Vincentian Family? Many individuals, groups and branches have big ideas but lack the resources to bring them to life. Your expertise might be exactly what is needed and could help to bring a 13 Houses project to the next level. Get in touch with the FHA to let us know about your professional background and we will let you know when we think a Vincentian in another country could benefit from your skillset.
To make your expertise available, please contact email@example.com