On Friday, at the break of dawn, they entered the church of Sant’Antonio in the Tarsia neighborhood—it had been abandoned for years—and, under the curious gaze of the whole neighborhood, began to bring in cots and mattresses.
The young workers were from Je so’ pazzo (“I am crazy” in Neapolitan), a community organization also known as “Ex OPG” after they occupied an abandoned OPG—criminal mental hospital—in Naples and turned it into a community space. They are also running in the upcoming elections as Potere al popolo! (“Power to the people!”).
During their morning cleanup last week, they set up an area along the nave of the church to accommodate at least 20 homeless people. This is one of the activities that Ex OPG is pursuing together with the Rete di Solidarietà popolare (“Network of Popular Solidarity”), which counts among its members Don Franco Esposito, the chaplain of Poggioreale prison, and Napoli insieme (“Naples together”), an organization that distributes meals to the homeless.