Saint Joseph Social Centre Project
Caritas Catolica Oradea wants to enlarge its present range of activity, mainly in the area of social aid for the elderly. Our organization would like to solve the social problems created by this unfortunate situation. The building of the former Saint Joseph hospital located in the historic city centre was finally given back to the Roman-catholic bishopric last February. The building from the Ion Creanga square originally served the needy residents of the city as a hospital for the poor segment of society functioning within the Vincentian Sisters’ order.
There were several applicants for realizing its renovation and reopening it to the public, although most of them prepared to set up profit-oriented rather then charitable activities. Since the Bishopric favoured in the first place humanitarian plans, therefore the real estate was granted to the Caritas Catolica organization.
The Saint Joseph project focuses on the setting up of a social centre, which will incorporate the administrative wing of our organization together with storing facilities, a social canteen, a daycare centre for the elderly and the disabled, and a new old people’s home.
During his several foreign delegations, Caritas director Joseph Rajna has presented the project for numerous potential sponsors. As a fortunate consequence, we had been receiving positive feedback since then, helping us in making effective effort regarding the renovation works. The Franciscan Sisters from Mallersdorf and Breda were among the first to express their enthusiasm by offering a significant financial fund to be able to start the project for the new social centre.
Since the entire estate was overtaken lacking proper documentation, its being in the historic city centre complicates even further the administrative processes and the acquisition of licenses and official permits. The age of the building also enhances our expenses. Though, we can only proceed step by step and make short-term plans.
Because the social axis of the current EU funds was already closed down, we could take into account only foreign sponsorship, as well as support of local private entities. The first such attempt was a Saint Elisabeth’s day fundraising in November 2010, where local donators contributed to the renovation works.
The building suffered real damages all over the decades, in the present being in a rather neglected state concerning both its exterior and interior. Since we overtook it and initiated the project, our goal was to protect the consistency of the building and to avoid any possible further damage.
The institution for protection of historic buildings rejected our cheaper plan of roof reconstruction, therefore a new plan had to be set up, in which the part of the roof which originally was covered with metal sheets, had to be reconstructed completely from roofing tiles.
Meanwhile, we began those operations which have already been granted by authorities, such as the demolition and removal of decayed auxiliary buildings. These also increased our expenses.
Though, the repair of the fences was planned for much later, as it became dangerous for the neighbouring playground we had to speed up our plans a bit. In order avoid accidents we carried out the renewal of the fences.
This year, we could also begin one of the most important operations, that is the renovation of the main façade.
During this period, we were aided by other forms of sponsoring as well.
We have received a significant sponsorship in the form of 60 new windows from the companies Führer Fenster and Rekord Fenster and assistance to build them in.
With the powerful help of Hans-Peter Rösch, German sponsor of our organization, a group of specialists has arrived form the Robert Meyer professional school of Stuttgart, who had taken up the task of zinc-roofing of the new St. Joseph building. They had brought roofing iron from Germany sponsored from a 1000 euro donation.
Austrian students from the Zistersdorf Technical School and Hak St.Pölten school accompanied by teachers, in collaboration with local students, had cleaned up the rusty water-supply and heating pipes in the whole building.
Our partners from St.Pölten have also planned a charity concert to gather donations for the renovation of the St. Joseph building, held on the 14th of November, 2011.
We have received a donation of high quality paints from Franz Spermann, companies STO, Keim-Farben and Farben Högner.
By the end of 2011, we also managed to change the gutters and eaves before the arrival of the winter. Thus, the interior of the building is already protected from snow and rain.