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River Plate opens El Monumental to homeless

Argentine football club River Plate has opened its El Monumental stadium to homeless people amid falling temperatures in Buenos Aires.

River welcomed people to the 66,000-seat stadium yesterday (Wednesday), with the venue’s gym having been opened up as a shelter.

Warm clothes, food and blankets were also donated and people were able to spend the night at the stadium. River worked with the Red Solidaria group on the initiative.

Red Solidaria founder Juan Carr said: “242 people have passed through since yesterday at sunset and 103 have slept here. There were many families and about 50 volunteers… donations continue to be received throughout the day.”

He added: “Other clubs such as Vélez, Platense and Estudiantes de Buenos Aires called us to try to do something similar.”

Red Solidaria has organised the ‘Cold Zero’ campaign for the past seven years. The campaign is designed to support people living on the street in Buenos Aires’ Plaza de Mayo area.

The southern hemisphere is currently in the midst of winter and Argentina’s National Meteorological Service has warned that temperatures could drop to around freezing in the coming days.

Image: River Plate