«Mommy, look, a snowman ... Mommymommy ...».
The doors of the
church of San Antón
, in Madrid's Chueca neighborhood, do not muffle the sounds of those who enjoy the
"snow of the century
However, mixed with the shouts of the city, within those walls what is heard is the silence of the shadows that no longer have the strength to complain.
Or almost: "Tonight I will die in the street."
Those of us who distributed coffee thought that it was an expression of that black humor that sometimes helps us survive.
But looking into Carlos's eyes, we realized that he was serious.
«The first night I was lucky, because the train stopped and I slept inside, with the heating.
But if this cold wave is coming, tonight I will die in the street »
His mask does not prevent his eyes and the tone of his voice from confirming that he is not exaggerating.
"You're not going to die tonight or tomorrow," Lionel tells him with the serenity of one who is used to hearing almost everything, who for four years has been serving the alleged losers of the welfare society in the temple run by Father Ángel , from Messengers of Peace.
"There are Metro stations where you can sleep warm
And for a moment it seems that Carlos has not completely forgotten how he smiles: "Then give me a cup of coffee and a cupcake, please."
Carlos -42 years old, although in his eyes it seems that he carries hundreds of them- grabs his coffee and leans his whole body on a radiator, where he falls asleep.
In the pre-Covid era, 24 hours a day were distributed between masses and the delivery of hot food, free Wi-Fi ... it was even allowed to sleep on benches.
the bug killed almost everything
Now, since the great snow began, San Antón has returned to offer more services.
“There is always something warm for those who come, and we give away blankets and sleeping bags.
We also let people rest for a while, keeping their distances and hygiene, so that they recover from the cold ”, explains Ignacio, who has been a volunteer for three months“ to give back to society what he has been given ”;
there is the thing.
Suddenly, a scene that only surprises the editor, unaccustomed to the future of men who are like shadows.
A man wrapped in a blanket, whose eyes are barely visible, moves through the temple and returns to his place of refuge
”, another of the radiators.
Not a word.
And there it turns into a human ball with luggage: plastic bags full of god knows what.
In San Antón, no questions are asked of those who ask for shelter.
The rule is to greet and smile at everyone.
The worst thing about the street is that they look at you as if you were a dog
Today [yesterday] it is very cold, but it is worse that they treat you as if you were not a person.
That's why I come here », says Andrés.
And Ángel agrees:
"The disgust with which people look at you does more damage than this frost
Coinciding with the news that someone is going to bring blankets, Patricia enters, a lady of indecipherable age.
She and her boyfriend have devised a system to shelter from the cold: «We slept on the stairs of the Barceló market.
with so much snow we get into one of those automatic toilets that cost 10 cents and we spend the night there
Her boyfriend is now "at the Bankia ATM": "He told me to come and get food," she explains as she takes two containers of very hot macaroni and some coffees.
Patricia does not hide other pain: «My family has not spoken to me for months because I could not go to my mother's funeral.
How can I go to Córdoba, if I live on the street! "
And so stories of the cold and snow that Filomena brought with other battles are spinning their hearts chill.
As we distribute coffee and food, Lionel confirms: «
The cold, the street is terrible ... but they want to talk about their lives
Volunteers come because making them smile makes us happy ».
Not far from there, Tíscar Espigares, the person in charge of the Community of San Egidio in Spain, keeps the images of the freezing night in her retina.
“We walked the streets looking for our friends [that's what they call the people they serve].
We wanted to convince them to go to the shelter of the Social Samur.
But we don't always succeed
Some are afraid because their situation is illegal, because of bad experiences in the shelters ... », he hurts.
I can't get rid of a pregnant woman who didn't want to leave her cardboard and her husband
and to a very good friend of ours who resigned from the hostel ... How did they wake up?
At least they were able to have a hot dinner because we know where to bring them the soup, ”she consoles herself.
«It is not enough to enable places to take refuge from this cold.
You have to go for them.
The street deteriorates them so much that sometimes they do not realize where the border is between frozen survival and death
, "he concludes.
You no longer hear the boy who was shouting outside of San Antón.
And Carlos didn't die of cold last night.
And Tíscar has everything ready to deliver
800 hot dinners
"That the administrations do not forget how easy it is to cross the line of death," he insists.
Red Cross to the rescue
The Spanish Red Cross has a special device in place against the effects of the storm Filomena, which adds to its usual care.
In other data, 899 special assistance stands out, there are 13 immediate response teams prevented, 203 people mobilized to care for those affected, 500 deliveries of food donated by Carrefour, six shelters available in four locations and eight provisional ones.
According to the criteria of The Trust Project
LiteratureIn search of the remains of Calderón de la Barca
CovidThe Ayuso government insists that Raphael's concert "did not generate a greater risk than in a commercial area"
CovidThe English Court of Sanchinarro is outside the perimeter confinement of the neighborhood decreed by the increase in infections
See links of interest
Real Madrid - UCAM Murcia
Sporting de Gijón - Fuenlabrada
Juventus - Sassuolo
Real Valladolid - Valencia CF
Espanyol - Castellón