Milan - Homeless Take Charge

Up until a few years ago, in a little-known section of Milan, where a tunnel or a simple shelter can become a home, you could meet Wainer Molteni, the "mayor of the homeless ."


He is also the author of a memoir, "I'm Nobody." After many years living on the streets he now helps his "homeless brothers."


Forty years, a college degree and many misadventures; Molteni was the supervisor at a supermarket, but following the company's bankruptcy came unemployment, and finding himself in serious difficulty, he found himself on the street. And that's where he lived for 8 years before receiving help from a Milanese charity group. Now, alongside fifty other volunteers and various associations, Walter works on the project "Against the Cold", supported also by the Municipality of Milan.


Today Wainer lives in a house allotted by the social services and is busy working with the non-profit organization "Homeless Taking Charge."


Wainer founded the first union for those without homes in 2004, along with other homeless: the traditional welfare system, canteens, and dormitories were not enough. Wainer wanted to find a home for them, and a chance to change their future. They occupied public and private buildings, thus initiating their fresh start, as well as their desire to change. Walter himself says: "Every night trains are overrun by the homeless. Hundreds of people arrive at the station at 11 pm at the train parking lot and wait until five in the morning, and nobody wakes them up until then. From 9 am to 7:30 pm, The Sormani library is home for dozens of homeless. This library has become the headquarters of "Homeless Taking Charge."


Today, the 'mayor of homeless' is a comfort to those without homes, scattered throughout Milano. He and dozens of other volunteers strive to make sure they have a hot meal, and a little more comfort than they would've had, if these helping hands had not decided to use thier time in service of those in need.