Dr. Marina Scardavi founded a non-profit called Shadow Dance to aid the homeless in body and soul. She got to know Palermo's homeless people through her homeless friend, Mohammed, an Iranian immigrant who earned a degree in architecture at the University of Palermo, but who prefers to be a vagabond who cares for other street people. He systematically walked Marina around the city center and introduced her to types from all over including a repentant, tattooed exiled German guy who spent ten years in jail for raping his mother and sister. She accepts them as they are.
On Wednesday and Sunday nights, she and several volunteers deliver hot meals cooked by other volunteers to people who sleep in the street. This after a day of work in a hospital, then five hours treating the homeless in her free clinic across the street from the Politeama Theater. Her clinic also offers legal and psychological help, free grocery staples once a week, free pharmaceuticals, hot showers, job training, a driving school, parties for birthdays and holidays, post hospitalization care, substance abuse treatment, and a dormitory for 60 lucky homeless men and women. She is both mother and father to them. Loving and stern.
It was too dark to film the street people she serves at night, and anyway I wouldn't feel right filming them in such abject conditions.
Her organization is called Danza delle Ombre because the homeless are like invisible shadows to most people, the passersby. She wrote a book by the same name, Danza delle Ombre; In the world of the least fortunate with Mohammed, published in Italian by the Paoline Press, in which she tells the back stories of homeless people she takes under her wing-- where they came from, what their life was like, why they left, why they live on the street in Palermo, and what she does to help them. This is one very hands-on lady. She has plans to do more. Danza delle Ombre can always use monetary contributions. Facebook: