Julia Lenart

VinziRast

VinziRast is an organization that helps improving communal life in Vienna since 2003. Its work is devoted to helping homeless people by integrating them into society and providing a space for tolerance and acceptance. Diverse programs of VinziRast offer a refuge, supporting waives in their quest for a better life.

History

About 16 years ago Cecily Corti and pastor Pucher from Graz had the idea of “Vizi-Dorf”. Having no proper space at first, the project had to wait one more year. In 2003 the “Vinzenzgemeinschaft St. Stephan” finally came into life. Head of the organization was Cecily Corti, who worked hard in the following years with the help of many volunteers, expanding the work of the organization. In 2004 a night shelter was established in Meidling, which was expanded in 2007 and since then bears the name “VinziRast-Corti-Haus”. In further consequence, more social shelters were established: a living community for abstinent alcoholics, VinziRast mittendrin, VinziChance and the VinziRast-Home.

Policy and achievements

VinziRast provides shelter for people without a home, not discriminating between gender, nationality or background. The work of the organization is done by volunteers only and it is financed by private donations. Their work focuses on the relationship with people; everyone is accepted and treated with respect and without judgement.

This policy guarantied success of the work of VinziRast for the past 15 years. At the moment there are about 60 people living at the shelter in Meidling, 30 people live at the VinziRast-Corti-Haus, six people in the living community for abstinent alcoholics, 27 at VinziRast mittendrin and eight people live at VinziRast-Home. 150 volunteers work for the organization, doing night shifts, bureaucratical work, sorting donations or buying necessities. VinziRast is financed only through donations.

© VinziRast

The many shelters of VinziRast

The night shelter was opened in 2004 and gives shelter to about 60 people every night. Among beds and bathrooms, warm dinners and breakfasts are offered at the shelter. Homeless people can talk to the caretakers about their worries and fears. Everyone who has no place to stay is welcome. Unconditional acceptance of all people and their fates open a place of comfort and mutual trust.

Homeless people can seek help with reintegration into society at the VinziRast-Corti-Haus. The living community consists of 16 apartments, offering a place for 30 people. Volunteers help with the first steps into a normal life.

VinziRast-WG is a living community for abstinent alcoholics who keep fighting the addiction. After going through anti-alcoholic-programs, people can keep living a healthy lifestyle in the VinziRast-WG, accompanied by others with the same background and guided by volunteers from VinziRast.

VinziRast mittendrin is a worldwide unique living community consisting of formerly homeless people and students. 27 people are living together in ten apartments, supporting themselves through their individual backgrounds. This project stands for integration and acceptance and proves that inclusion can be a huge enrichment. There is also a restaurant in the house, offering food from all over the globe.

Asylum seekers are often victims of homelessness. The VinziRast-Home safes them. Volunteers help them searching for jobs and apartments, lerning German and finding their way into a regular life in Austria.

VinziChance offers meaningful occupation for refugees. They produce everyday tools of various kinds (even bicycles). The work structures people’s days. Furthermore, VinziChange offers warm suppers and monthly tickets for public means of transportation.

Without question VinziRast is an important part of peaceful community life in Vienna. Its philosophy that focuses on acceptance and integration of everyone should be a positive example for all of us. In a world where the gap between rich and poor is continually drifting apart, in a world of separation, the work of VinziRast becomes ever more important and indispensable. VinziRast points out inquities and fights them, contributing to a fair society.


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