The building, Vittorio Emanuele III was built in 1932 for the purpose of a sanatorium for tuberculosis in Ostia, on the outskirts of Rome in Italy. After the Second World War, some parts of this building were used as a summer camp for poor children until 1983. Since then, different parts of the building were assigned for social purpose such as a public library, a canteen and accommodations for immigrants and poor people.
Since 2001, a considerable part of the Vittorio Emanuele III has been occupied by 40 families which had been living there as squatters. Almost all of them are refugees and immigrants, mainly coming from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Congo and Ivory Coast. The majority of them work on the beach as peddlers.