Like every large city, Rome has many people who experience various forms of social exclusion, most frequently caused by difficult economic conditions. These realities are often invisible or hardly noticed and affect people of all kinds. Men and women of all ages from Italy and elsewhere may find themselves living in conditions of absolute marginalisation for the most varied causes. Fortunately, Rome is also a city in which there are numerous organisations, institutions, and individuals who try to offer solidarity and solutions for people in difficulty.
Following the 2011 Provincial Chapter of the Lazio Franciscans, the friars at San Francesco a Ripa decided to open the doors of their friary to people experiencing serious social difficulties. Men in home detention, young people who have left their family homes, and young people at risk of marginalisation were welcomed by the friars and helped to reintegrate into society and the world of work. By working with other friaries and a network of lay workers, the guests — without distinction in regard to their background or religious belief — have been given board and lodging and the start of a pathway towards autonomy.