RELIGION
03/20/2014 03:38 pm ET Updated Mar 20, 2014

Argentina Squatters Name Settlement 'Pope Francis Neighborhood' In Quest For Justice (PHOTOS)

Pope Francis has inspired a group of impoverished people in Buenos Aires to name their makeshift settlement in the Villa Lugano district after their hometown hero, reports Reuters. Pope Francis was the Archbishop of Buenos Aires for five years before becoming pope, and he's emphasized the importance of caring for the poor from the very first moment of his papacy, when he chose the name "Francis."

Over 500 residents live in the shelters, occupying the land for weeks in order to demand housing solutions, according to AP. They now face homelessness since a judge ratified an eviction order on Wednesday.

Though their situation seems hopeless, Emanuel Rio, a 26-year-old spokesman for the community, explained to Pakistan's Daily Times, "The pope represents hope. We identify with him. He understands our needs."

Their future remains cloudy, but this week a priest from a neighboring shantytown blessed their community. See images from their lives here:

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Some residents sit outside their makeshift shelters in a squatters' settlement of more than 500 people who have named it the Pope Francis neighborhood, in a Buenos Aires suburb, Argentina, Thursday, March 20, 2014.

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A man sits outside his shack in the Pope Francis neighborhood, in a Buenos Aires suburb, Argentina, Thursday, March 20, 2014.

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Children play outside their makeshift shelters in a squatters' settlement called the Pope Francis neighborhood.

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Juan Gomez holds his son Julian on Thursday, March 20, 2014.

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A man sits outside his shack on Thursday, March 20, 2014.

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A woman walks near a row of makeshift shelters in Barrio Papa Francisco, in a Buenos Aires suburb, Argentina, Thursday, March 20, 2014.

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Daisy Gomez looks at the camera as she stands in front of her shelter where a San Lorenzo's soccer team jersey hangs on a makeshift clothesline on Thursday, March 20, 2014.

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Children play soccer on Thursday, March 20, 2014.

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