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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.

Download our 13 Houses Booklet to learn more about the Campaign in English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Dutch, Portuguese, Polish or Chinese (Simplified and Traditional).

Get involved!! 

   Help us end homelessness – One house at a time.

News and updates

Online event: Lessons learnt from “13 Houses” projects

Online event: Lessons learnt from “13 Houses” projects

On July 8th 1 pm CEST (9 pm Sydney, 7 am New York) the FHA is hosting the first of a series of online events featuring Vincentians who are working on “13 Houses” Campaign projects. Three speakers from different projects and approaches will talk about how they got...

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Tackling slum dwelling in Malawi, one house at a time!

Tackling slum dwelling in Malawi, one house at a time!

Annie and her seven children were homeless, although they did have a roof over their heads. “I can’t say I was living in a house; it was rather like a birds nest”. They were living in a hut and were extremely vulnerable to the weather. Annie’s story is one of many in...

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A home in Namibia, beds in the Netherlands

A home in Namibia, beds in the Netherlands

“To serve and enlighten, to speak a redeeming word, to be a helping hand", this is the motto of the jubilee year of the Brothers of Our Lady Mother of Mercy (CMM), in which they celebrated their 175th anniversary (1844-2019), derived from the rule of life of the...

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A new way of exploring the 13 Houses Campaign

A new way of exploring the 13 Houses Campaign

13 Houses Campaign keeps growing thanks to the joint efforts of more and more Vincentian branches to end homelessness! Now you can explore the different projects on our new map. You can learn more about each individual initiative, which branches are involved and...

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The “St Vincent de Paul Village” opens its doors in Peru

The “St Vincent de Paul Village” opens its doors in Peru

55 people from eight families are now living in the first houses of the “Mitso Esperanza – Villa San Vicente de Paúl”, the St Vincent de Paul Village in Puerto Eten, Peru. This ambitious project is part of the “13 Houses” Campaign. The Vincentian Family has opened and...

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First 13 Houses project in Nigeria!

First 13 Houses project in Nigeria!

Cecilia is a widow and mother of four living in the Imo State, South East-Nigeria, in a poor rural area lacking government investment. She and her family used to shelter in an old mud hut. For that reason, she was selected to be the first beneficiary of the 13 Houses...

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A family born again

A family born again

Mihaela used to go to sleep worrying that the house would fall on her and her family. She lived with her mother and her four children, aged between 14 and 7 in a tiny house in Iasi, Romania second largest city. “We felt deprived of any hope, of protection during that...

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From the basement to the hope of a new life

From the basement to the hope of a new life

The Flórez Sierra Family hasn’t had it easy since they arrived in Spain from Colombia. “We used to live in a basement, unhealthy, without the right conditions, we were suffering, mostly for our child”. Besides, were living in an unregularized situation in the country....

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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!

Solidarity Fund

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 fha.info@famvin.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 fha.info@famvin.org

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