House of Solidarity (Bressanone)
A children's story says: Winter is approaching. All the field mice work day and night, gathering nuts, wheat and straw. All except Frederick. He collects sunbeams. These are his grains for the cold, gray and long winter days. When winter is here and the last grains are used up, Frederick climbs on a stone and says: "Close your eyes. Now I'll send you rays of sunshine. Do you feel yet how warm they are? Warm, beautiful and and golden?" And the mice got warmer.
At the House of Solidarity (HdS) we have been busy all year - busy like Frederick and busy like bees. We worked hard to offer work. In the spring, more than half of the guests at the HdS were still without work. Already in June we had no free hand when employers called us. Like bees, we put out our feelers....
_ We deepened our collaboration with local farmers and helped the unemployed find their way in a working world so different from anything they were used to.
_ We have started a project with the aim of integrating unemployed people as companions for people with special skills.
_ We have accompanied various guests back into the working world of the hotel and catering industry.
Our busy bees in these efforts have been approximately 30 volunteers. They have eaten with and listened to guests in the evenings, taught them the language, looked for work as „badanti“ (caregivers), collected good but discarded food from supermarkets, looked for and found good but no longer used items such as furniture, given people inside and outside the house a sympathetic ear for their daily worries and needs, made it possible for a couple from the refugee camp in Moria to find a new home in the HdS, and and and.
Like bees, the full-time staff buzzed around the house, looking after the well-being of the HdS bee-state. At the same time, they ventured far out and explored the area for new nectar-rich flowers: together with the OEW, the REX recycling center was founded, a food sharing group found a home at the HdS, and we were able to help with the first steps towards a Brixen citizens' cooperative. The team developed a new work integration project called Caffungo with students and is involved in the climate-issue, which is about a livable South Tyrol also for our children and grandchildren.
In the summer, the renowned weekly newspaper "Die Zeit" wrote a full-page article about the HdS and selected it as one of 75 initiatives that "inspire confidence and from which one can learn". If you are interested, we would be happy to send you a copy of the article.
House of Solidarity - A Portrait
For 16 years the HoS has been helping 150 people in need per year. Senior citizens, children and youths in difficult family situations, adults in conflict with the justice or released from custody, homeless or unemployed persons, mentally ill, addicts, migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers, but also students and people who stand up for others, they all find a helping hand and/or a place to stay at the HoS. The HoS is also the home of ecological and social organizations. At present, the "Organization for a Caring World" (oew), "oikocredit," the youth organization "Afzack" and the open technology laboratory Otelo are located there.
Up until now, the HoS has received no public funds to cover the running costs for the many aspects of its work. The House finances itself exclusively through income from rentals, own activities, and donations.
In 2008 and 2011 the HoS was awarded the Cultura Socialis Prize as appreciation of its work. In 2013, together with the Comboni Missionaries, it received the Bishop Josef Gargitter Prize. In 2015 it gained the 2nd place in the competition „Values with Heart“. The film school Zelig produced a documentary in 2012. The well known filmmaker Andreas Pichler is acutally finishing a film about the HoS.
More about the HoS: