On the same day that two Indian immigrants died from the cold because they were sleeping in the open, Saverio Iacobucci the coordinator of the reception day centre Un Sorriso has announced that the centre has closed because of lack of funding. Un sorriso offered people living on the streets the possibility of taking a shower, washing their clothes, the use of a kitchen and the chance to find some second hand clothing, as well as helping anyone who wanted to attempt to return to a more normal lifestyle. Until 2004 the reception centre had received funding from the city council but this is no longer available and the centre closed on the 29 December.
Volunteers from the community of SantEgidio, the Rome-based Roman Catholic relief organisation, continue to do a round in the city every night offering blankets and hot soup to people they find sleeping in the cold.
Anyone wishing to make a donation to SantEgidio should see www.santegidio.org.it