The Arsenal of Hope
ARSENAL OF HOPE
Dom Luciano Pedro Mendes de Almeida
Arsenal da Esperança is a “CASA QUE ACOLHE”, founded in São Paulo, in 1996, on the initiative of Ernesto Olivero and Dom Luciano Pedro Mendes de Almeida.
Located on the premises of the former Hospedaria de Imigrantes, the Arsenal is inhabited by SERMIG - Fraternidade da Esperança, the community of couples and consecrated people founded in 1964, in Italy, by Ernesto Olivero himself and his wife Maria.
For 24 years, the door of Arsenal da Esperança has been opening daily for 1,200 men who are in difficulty, the so-called “people on the street”, young people and adults who suffer from lack of work, home, food, health and family.
Whoever enters this house finds a clean and welcoming place to rest, bathe, eat and attend professional courses, in addition to enjoying many other services, such as monitoring social work, laundry, medical center, literacy, library , the soccer field, the games room, the support groups ...
Each one can find his own space, his rights and duties and, above all, the possibility of doing good and looking for the meaning of life. Many who were welcomed in times of fragility, pain, illness, recovered hope, rebuilt family relationships, found a job or are looking for new ways.
In the 24 years of uninterrupted operation, Arsenal da Esperança hosted more than 63,000 people, offering them 9,925,731 nights of hospitality, 25,013,830 meals (including breakfasts, lunches and dinners), 2,729,500 visits by internal social service and 330,630 medical appointments and medicines (Data updated in March 2020). This journey has also been possible thanks to the confidence of the Government of the State of São Paulo and the Municipality of São Paulo.
The prayer and spirituality experienced by SERMIG - Fraternidade da Esperança inspires and embraces all this work and makes Arsenal a “metropolitan monastery”, a place of encounter and collaboration with civil society, with the world of volunteering and especially with young people, who find in this house an opportunity to dialogue and grow, being promoters of actions of peace, justice and solidarity.