The Association Rede Rua is a Civil Society Organization (CSO), a charity, non-profit organization, operating since 1991. It is a cultural and educational organization made up of an unlimited number of members, who freely choose to be part of it .
Is to contribute to the construction of a network of relationships, with the purpose of promoting the rescue of the rights of population who lives in the street, such as the possibility to access the right of social assistance. We also operate in the fields of attendance, human resources, rescue of self-esteem and popular communication.
In addition, Rede Rua works to let homeless have the access to other primary rights, such as health assistance, work possibilities, education and the right to have an accomodation.
Human Promotion: it aims to provide social assistance to the excluded and searches alternatives to solve the problems of subsistence, housing, work and defense of rights. It makes society aware of these problems, facilitating the exchange with other organizations which have the same objectives and acts promoting activities of public and social relevance.
Communication, Education and Culture: It aims to document and build the life story of struggling excluded groups and their organizations. It adds strength and facilities social reporting with the help of other organizations. The organization collaborates in the organization of cultural and educational events and projects. This activity produce and encourage the creation of communication vehicles in order to help excluded groups.
Social marketing: it aims to share and create events for the promotion of public policies that contribute to the advancement of citizenship and social inclusion.
The context that led to the development of Rede Rua’s work occurred in the late 1980s, in response to a frightening reality, involving a growing number of workers affected by the lack of jobs and incomes. A lot of people lived in the streets or under viaducts in the city of São Paulo. No less important was the lack of care for people living in that conditions, many of them were infected by the HIV virus.
In 1989, Arlindo Dias, Lenir Albuquerque and Alderon Costa proposed the creation of a service that would have helped the street population. The idea was to create a “Marginalized Documentation and Communication Center” (MDCC), a space of reference for people in diffucult living conditions on the streets. Initially, the work was assigned to the Bom Jesus of Brás church tower.
On March 3, 1990 Rede Rua signed the first agreement with the São Paulo City Hall (PMSP), for which it borrows the legal entity of the Social Center Parque Fernanda. This situation did not change until 1995, when the “Brotherhood of the People of the Street” was created. This was a legal entity, which regarded several groups and projects developed within the street population. At the beginning, only people with HIV were included, but then they started to develop activities for the “Landless”.
In 1998 the MDCC was reformulated and had some projects dismembered. From then, the name of “Associação Rede Rua” emerged as a civil entity, which focuses, at that time, on communication and advisory work. Then, a network of communication was created to help the work of small interconnected groups, in search for a different society.
The first project developed by Rede Rua was the newspaper “O Trecheiro – Notícias do Povo da Rua”. At the beginning the newspaper tried to play its role of social reporting about several situations of exclusion and violence experienced by street people. It was, and it is, an important communication tool for this population, recognized also by homeless people.
Within this perspective, Rede Rua Association contributed to the creation of some social assistance services, among them, the first House of Coexistence of Street People in Brás – Associação São Victor Martír (1991); the Cascuda Restaurant – a community restaurant managed by homeless people in the form of a cooperative (operating from 1992 to 1994); Operation Winter – Pedroso and Viaduct 9 de Julho (1992); Inauguration of the first house built for street people (1992); Fraternidade Povo da Rua – for the care of people living in seropositive places (1993); Street Project for Earth (1997); Cais do Bom Jesus – entity for the care of street dwellers in the Brás region (1998); Separation of the Aids Fraternity in Rua and Rede Rua (1998).
In 1998, the Rede Rua Association was finally created, legally constituted, and it currently manages and maintains communication projects, such as the newspaper “O Trecheiro”, audiovisual productions and photojournalism on themes related to the street population, as well as a video library with themes of popular education and social themes.
Rede Rua also continues to provide social assistance services with the Community Restaurant Conviviality Center (known as Penaforte), which offers around 500 meals for day, and the Pousada da Esperança shelter for adults, which daily hosts and offers dinner and coffee to about 150 people. There is also the Chapelaria Social, which offers 80 wardrobes to keep personal effects. The project acts as a house of coexistence, where collective activities and income artistic works are done. It serves as reference address, so that the population who passes there has a fixed address for receiving correspondence.