Providing shelter to the LGBTQI community in Italy
Everyone needs a safe place to call home. Unfortunately, there are many reasons why this is not always happening, for example, due to sexual orientation or gender identity. TO HOUSING, one of the local community programs Ahlstrom-Munksjö supported in 2021, helps when the home is not the place to go.
Since 2018 Ahlstrom-Munksjö has been actively supporting local community projects in the areas that host its production sites. With the local community donations project, the company aims to build close and long-term relationships even further with the communities. The strategic giving and donations program focuses on listening to local people and encouraging Ahlstrom-Munksjö employees to play an active role in their neighborhoods. To promote this, the company has asked its coworkers to propose community projects or good causes for the program.
In 2021 the program was focused on funding projects dedicated to supporting the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): advancing and fostering quality education (SDG 4), gender equality (SDG 5), and clean water and sanitation work (SDG 6). TO HOUSING was one of the proposed and selected projects aligned with SDG 5.
TO HOUSING is a social co-housing project in Turin that welcomes LGBTQI people in difficulty and those in conditions of extreme vulnerability. This unique initiative in Italy has five apartments not destined for community housing lists and can accommodate up to 24 guests.
Marco Consiglio, who proposed the project, believes that a company that creates and promotes an inclusive environment is a company where employees work better.
"TO HOUSING has a huge impact on the local LGBTQI community here in Turin. I think it's a perfect match for Ahlstrom-Munksjö as it's well-aligned with our values. My team, colleagues, and I are proud and happy that our company supports this amazing project!"
The project was created in response to the housing emergency but also to activate social reintegration pathways, starting from a primary and fundamental need such as housing. Young people who have been removed from their families of origin due to sexual orientation or gender identity will be welcomed, as well as homosexual migrants and refugees, LGBTIQ elderly in conditions of loneliness or poverty, transsexual and transgender people.
Behind the project is an association called Associazione Quore APS, a social organization promoting and supporting activities aimed at the LGBTQI community. Associazione Quore APS was founded in 2007 in Turin and carries out its activities in the region through initiatives, awareness campaigns, and long-term projects to achieve an inclusive society that respects people's individual rights.
“Advocating for equality is a challenging task in these uncertain times; the pandemic has revealed the existing inequalities in our societies, and we need to dedicate our greatest efforts to the most vulnerable and fragile citizens. Amongst them, many LGBTQI people are suffering exclusion, unemployment, homelessness, and mental distress, that’s why Associazione Quore is strongly committed to making their voices heard and developing strategic socio-economic inclusion programs. TO HOUSING has been able to support 75 LGBTQI people so far with most of the guests (80%) of age between 18 and 35,” told Alessandro Battaglia, President Associazione Quore.
“Local private sponsorships, such as Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s donation, have proved to be a crucial and vital element to the TO HOUSING project. The engagement of local private allies has acted as a lever to motivate public institutions representatives and opinion leaders; on the other side, having public legitimacy has been helpful in terms of public image and reputation, both in the media and in opening new relationships,” adds Silvia Magino, Project Manager.