The Rome city council, in conjunction with two city transport companies, Atac and Trambus has inaugurated a new service to help the homeless in the winter months. Two coaches go around the city at night giving out blankets and hot drinks to people who are sleeping on the streets. The homeless are also allowed to get onto the coaches, and stay on them while they go around the city, rather than spend the night out in the cold. The coaches will also carry these people to one of the several places of refuge in the city for the homeless, if they are willing to be moved.
On the first night of this new service more than 100 blankets and 140 litres of hot drinks were distributed and two further coaches are due to begin a similar service within the next few days. Each coach has room for 49 passengers and is staffed by two social workers who are in constant contact with the central operations room of the city council in case of emergencies.
The service is due to run until the middle of April.