Milan's Arca steps up help for homeless

24-hour patrols as cold deepens

As temperatures tumble well below zero and violent winds sweep into Italy from the north, Milan’s non-profit Progetto Arca has stepped up its help for the homeless in the Lombardy capital.

Volunteers are now working shifts to cover 24 hours a day, with an average of four calls from the public every day reporting an emergency situation, causing the mobile units to scramble.

Homeless people who decline a space in the welcome structures and decide to remain on the streets are given blankets or sleeping bags, sandwiches and hot tea. Each day, Arca distributes about a hundred items of warm clothing and hygiene kits containing a change of underwear, soap and shampoo, toothbrush and toothpaste and a towel.

In the welcome centres operated by the NGO, a thousand beds and two thousand hot meals are offered every day. Arca reminds residents that they can call at any time to report seeing a homeless person in need of help. Their telephone numbers are 02 88447643, 02 88447646, 02 88447647, 02 88447648 and 02 88447649, staffed 24 hours a day.

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