Restructuring of the Family Home in Via San Giovanni in Laterano 79, Rome

Project location: ITALY, Rome
Project start date: September 2017 - Project end date: December 2017
Project number: 2017-071
Beneficiary: Circolo San Pietro

The Circolo San Pietro in Rome was founded in 1869 by a group of young people eager to show loyalty to the Pope and the Church.

With His Holiness Pius IX’s blessing, the club started a charity in the Rome’s diocese, giving it its name of the "...Charity Arm of the Pope...". For more than 140 years, the Club has acted in many fields of both material and spiritual poverty and destitution, following the changing needs of the population in history. Among the existing ones the Economic kitchens, the Nocturnal Shelters and the Residential Homes, are more than a century old.

The San Giovanni in Lateran Residential Home was opened in 1965 by request of His Holiness Pope Paul VI, and since then it has welcomed young women living in Rome for study or work. The guests receive spiritual assistance provided by a priest who visits the Home by appointment. The Home currently houses 25 young women. The opportunity to proceed with the gradual restructuring of the building and the consequent rationalization of the space would improve and increase services provided, directing them to the most needing.

The Bambino Gésu hospital in Rome is one of Italy's most important hospitals for treating children, covering all of their medical problems from those encountered at birth to those that develop later in their life. The hospital has become the reference point for all Italian families from Tuscany to Sicily whenever they need medical assistance for their children.

Over the last few decades, the number of children requiring hospital intervention, on both short and long term basis has increased, therefore increasing the influx of families to Rome. The mentality in Italy has also changed, from "hiding" and refusing the child's infirmities, to wanting to completely discover and treat the causes. Today, many Italian children require long-term medical treatments, either on permanent stay or needing to be regularly within the hospital. The families of these children often face logistical and financial problems when accompanying their child to find solutions for accommodation and easy access to the hospital facilities.

The Circolo San Pietro proposes to reallocate the use of the San Giovanni Home, providing essential accommodation and psychological support to the families needing assistance. Providing easy, free-of-charge accommodation also helps the families, removing important stress and preoccupation from their stay. A comfortable, welcoming space where the families and children can find sanctuary away from the hospital wards is a fundamental part of the treatment and recovery process.

It has been shown and proven many times that the psychological state of both patients and their loved ones has a direct impact on the effectiveness of their treatment and recovery. Removing one of the most important factors of stress for the parents and allowing them to be close to their child throughout the whole treatment process positively impacts the outcome of the hospital stay.

Among the activities carried out by the Circolo San Pietro in favour of those most in need, there is the management of two Family Homes in the centre of Rome. The first house, on Via San Giovanni in Laterano has, up until now, accommodated young women who were in Rome for study or work. The house of Via della Lungaretta in contrast provides accommodation for families whose children are hospitalised in the Bambino Gésu hospital and are in need of accommodation to accompany them through their stay.

Several decades of collaboration between the Circolo San Pietro and the Bambino Gésu hospital, along with recent developments and changes in medical protocol has led to reconsidering the use of the Home in San Giovanni in order to welcome both young out-patients and their families. This change of use requires a radical transformation of the property in order to tailor it to the special needs of these guests, transforming the space from small, single-use rooms with communal services, to more comfortable, larger, family-sized accommodation and private bathroom facilities.

The building in Via San Giovanni has recently undergone a partial restoration. Mainly external, these renovations have been carried out with the help of funding from organisations such as the Fondazione Nando Peretti (roof coverings) and under the direction of a Government department (renewal of the perimeter walls and transformation of the front court into a garden).

The new function of the building requires providing private toilet facilities, creating rooms that are accessible for the disabled, as well as communal recreational and social areas. These spaces will be restructured as detailed below:

Ground floor: 4 bedrooms with bathroom, with full access for disabled guests.

3 large areas intended for common use; recreational playroom, dining area with kitchenette and utility room.

First floor: 6 bedrooms with bathroom.

Utility room

Second floor: 6 bedrooms with bathroom.

Utility room

1st Mezzanine floor: Laundry room

2nd Mezzanine floor: 1 bedroom with bathroom

The works above will be completed with reinforcement and consolidation of the communal areas and the Chapel that have suffered past damage and further damage from recent earthquakes.

The 16 bedrooms to be created in the San Giovanni Home will be able to provide short and long term accommodation for almost a thousand families per year as of early 2018.
think global, act local
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