Father Benito feeds bodies and hearts

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When Father Benito arrived at the parish of Santa Cruz y Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, in the Merced neighborhood, in CDMX, in 2015, he began to wonder what he could do to help the community of that church.

He realized that in the neighborhood where the parish was located, near the Historic Center, in the Cuauhtémoc mayor's office, there was poverty, insecurity and violence.

He says that, upon arriving, he and some of the parishioners began to do a study on the needs of the place and one of the most important was the homeless.

So, Father Benito got to work, borrowed pots from neighbors and started a small community kitchen that served 18 people on its first day. Today, the beneficiaries number in the hundreds.

That first effort was the seed of a much larger initiative and became the Civil Association Saciando al Pobre, with which Father Benito, his collaborators and benefactors have opened community kitchens in different churches, helping hundreds of unprotected people.

For seven years, during the winter, the floors of the La Soledad Parish have been filled with mattresses where hundreds of homeless people, women in prostitution and migrants who receive a blanket and food sleep.

But the support that Father Benito and his collaborators provide is not limited to shelter and food; They also offer spiritual retreats, training talks, psychological help and support for recovery.

We do our work with the idea that people feel God close to them; also to generate trust and love in them, and so that, if at any time they offer themselves and someone wants and is willing to get out of the street situation, we can help and guide them,” he added.

Father Benito wants vulnerable people to see the church of La Soledad as a house, “like a big family, to see life positively and get ahead.”

To achieve this, they need job training, but also to feel that society believes in them, that those of us who are there believe that they are important. Give them love, only in this way will they be able to change and find the direction of their life.”

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