The San Luis Gonzaga shelter in Guayaquil, Ecuador, provides free lodging and care for people with HIV, including children who lost their parents due to the illness.

An outreach of the Archdiocese of Guayaquil, the shelter has a capacity of 40 people, mostly low-income patients who are provided housing until they can receive medical care in hospitals. Food, transportation, lodging and counseling are offered free of charge.

In 2017, the shelter took in 166 patients and in January 2018 alone, they provided short-term housing and services for 115 people.

One example is Alejandro, a 61-year-old patient from Santa Elena, Ecuador, who shared with the Archdiocese of Guayaquil that he arrived at the shelter in a delicate state of health, but today feels much improved, has gained weight and knows he can continue with his treatment.

To date, the shelter has cared for people from five provinces in Ecuador, as well as foreigners from El Salvador, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela.

Since its inauguration in 2016, the shelter has received an annual donation of $25,000 from the Por Cristo Inc. Foundation of Boston, which is used for administrative and food expenses.

This article was originally published by our sister agency, ACI Prensa. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.