Rotterdam is the Netherlands’ poorest city. More than a hundred thousand people there live under the poverty line. The city is also home to fifteen to twenty thousand illegal immigrants, who cannot find paid work without a valid residence permit.
The mission of the non-profit Stichting Diaconaal Centrum Pauluskerk (St. Paul’s Church Diaconal Center), a stone’s throw from Rotterdam’s Central Station, is to help people who have nowhere left to turn in society. These are often the homeless, refugees, and the unemployed. The foundation provides them with temporary shelter, individualized assistance, and, if desired, reflection and faith-strengthening support. Wherever possible, the center provides people with meaningful daily activities, in part through on-the-job learning partnerships with local companies. In addition, the church hall in St. Paul’s Church, which reopened in 2013, can be used as a podium to give street artists a place in Rotterdam’s cultural programming. By enabling interaction between underprivileged and privileged residents, the center also hopes to lay the foundation for greater empathy and connection in society.
Adessium Foundation is supporting Stichting Diaconaal Centrum Pauluskerk as part of our commitment to enable everyone to live a dignified life. Our support is specifically intended for illegal refugees who cannot call upon the Netherlands’ other social services. The percentage of people without residence permits who call upon St. Paul’s Church is growing by the year. By expanding its capacity, the center can accommodate this growth. We also provide the center with direct support in the form of a living allowance, food, and clothing.
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