Samaritans of the Street reach out to drug addicts and troubled youth


An outreach ministry to juvenile delinquents and drug addicts is making news in Cali, Colombia, where it is offering food, medicine, housing and personal assistance to troubled youth.

According to the Colombian daily El Pais, the Samaritans of the Street were encouraged to move forward with their ministry by the late Archbishop Isaias Duarte Cancino, who was killed in 2002.  Sister Magdalena, coordinator at one of the group’s homes, said the purpose of organization is “to soften the damage of drug addicts and to give them love, that strange medicine that is the only hope for a city sick with indifference.”

Thousands of people, many of which are addicted to drugs, live on the streets of Cali in makeshift shelters in subhuman conditions.  Many live off the money they raise from recycling scrap-iron, plastic and glass.  The money earned is often used to buy a popular drug called “basuco.”

It is precisely in these places where “contrary to all logic, to the abusive exploitation of drug traffickers and the almost complete indifference of civil authorities, a group of men and women seek to reverse the drama and overcome evil.  Their efforts, in many ways almost useless, give hope,” explained El Pais.

During the day members of the organization provide food, medicine and bathing facilities to people who come to one of the four outreach homes in the area.

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