New poor, the drama within the drama in Sardinia: without money, homeless and up to their necks in debt

New poor, the drama within the drama in Sardinia: without money, homeless and up to their necks in debt
New poor, the drama within the drama in Sardinia: without money, homeless and up to their necks in debt

Among the regions with the highest incidence of new poor there is Sardinia with a dramatic figure: + 51.5%. The source is the latest Caritas report “Beyond the obstacle “on poverty and social exclusion”. We are talking about people who have never before turned to Caritas for help. Many people knocked on the doors of Sardinian churches and parish priests who were fully affected by the social and health crisis. They are men, women, very often young, who have found themselves faced with uncertainty, with the dramatic loss of their jobs. Overwhelmed by the economic consequences of the pandemic.

The detailed data of the Caritas Sardinia 2021 Report will be presented in Cagliari during a press conference on November 8th. But in the meantime one fact emerges on everyone with a chat with the director of Caritas of Cagliari, Don Marco Lai: the housing emergency. “With our 32 listening centers in the diocese of Cagliari, we have to deal with people in difficulty every day. Poverty reveals some needs: housing is a very serious problem – he explains – public housing is insufficient, 80% of the houses are private, only 20% are communal: it is clear that in a moment of crisis where many have lost their jobs, have no income, find it hard to pay the rent. And the private sector wants guarantees. Of course there are measures to combat poverty – continues Don Lai – such as citizenship income but then there remains the housing problem that does not concern only foreigners but the entire population. It is a difficult moment, often those who are well turn to the other side, we tend to remove what pains us ”.

Another alarm launched by Caritas is over-indebtedness. “If you previously managed to support the family with the pandemic, those who were well are also affected, perhaps with two salaries, those who have their own house and a mortgage to pay, risk losing it. And obviously those who lost their jobs got into debt to pay their bills, medical bills, food, in short, to support their families. He can’t make it to the end of the month ”explains Don Lai.

And this is where the diocesan Caritas of Cagliari comes into play once again with the anti-usury foundation Sant’Ignazio da Laconi, directed by Don Marco. It is one of the main Cagliari companies in the fight against usury, a terrible and difficult scourge to eradicate. In 2020 alone, 74 cases were investigated for a total of over one million and 905 thousand euros paid out. “Through the foundation we give concrete help to people in difficulty, who risk being hit by illegal loans” adds Don Marco.

Obviously, during the pandemic a heavy price, perhaps the most salty to pay it was undoubtedly the women, who are burdened with all the burden of care and family responsibilities related to children, the elderly, the sick and the disabled, in particular (but not only) during the first lockdown of spring 2020. On the employment front, they were the most exposed because the sectors most affected by restrictions and anti-contagion measures, but also because women’s work is often precarious. Without forgetting that many women in this time of pandemic have been even more exposed, at home, to a greater risk of violence. As the chronicles tell every day.

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