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Best Practice – La Cordata
La Cordata is a social enterprise committed to satisfying a need that is ever more urgently felt in Milan: housing. La Cordata is a social cooperative which for the past twenty years has been providing housing and integration opportunities for: tourists, students, workers, families, foreigners, minors, single mothers with children and individuals with disability. Their aim is to build and maintain interpersonal relationships and activate support networks for anybody, without exception, who is going through a difficult period and having a hard time finding their place in society. La Cordata offers housing solutions, social and educational services and hotel facilities.
Their action as a social, educational and community enterprise involves the creation of “places and spaces for living” which catalyse and facilitate the coordination and integration of the economic, human and cultural resources. Places which can accommodate people, integrate their needs and resources so that they can themselves become a resource for the local community in which they live.
La Cordata operates in two areas which are closely interrelated. They offer mainly educational projects targeting individuals who have a clear need for support and guidance in order to become independent and primarily residential services. Also they are focused at a low cost targeting individuals who require housing in Milan in the short, medium or long term, or people with emergency housing requirements. In both of these areas, La Cordata strives to achieve the highest quality of service by training operators, maintaining relationships and spaces and personalizing services to meet the needs of all of their guests. The gained profit will be used for increasing the capacities of the La Cordata housing and starting new programs and projects for those who need their help the most.
La Cordata has begun as a project, established in 1994, as part of a widespread response to the Italian state’s Law 381/91. The aim of the co-op is to integrate youths from difficult backgrounds into mainstream society. Both the youths from problem backgrounds and the private payers are assisted to deal with diversity through the hostel and given the benefits of group life. Another aim of the hostel is promote autonomous lifestyles.
Now, La Cordata has different projects which place the person as the central focus, promoting diversity and forms and processes of integration in a framework of subsidiarity between the various players involved in the common good of this city. This projects are accomplished because of their employees who are well educated and have different tasks and activities. For example, there is one staff member in charge of the accommodation services; other employee is responsible for research, planning and fundraising for the Social Housing projects. The vice – president of La Cordata is responsible for promoting social cohesion projects online with major players in the fields of culture, business and associations in Milan. They also have a coordinator of the hostel, who sets and oversees the accommodation quality standards and takes of costumer relations.
At the end, La Cordata is active in this area through projects and enterprises of social innovation, serving the most varied public with projects and initiatives which arise in response to the needs of the moment. La Cordata is very good example for successfully managing projects and becoming big social enterprise from project itself.
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