Partners and country profiles

Groundswell, United Kingdom

Groundswell exists to enable homeless people to take more control of their lives, have a greater influence on services and play a fuller role in our community. We have been at the forefront of creating innovative client-centred participatory action research since 1996. All of our research and commissioned work is delivered by peer researchers who have lived experience of homelessness and are trained and supported by Groundswell.

In 2010 we started an innovative health advocacy service (HHPA) to support people experiencing homelessness to access healthcare. Activities include a health advocacy service where people experiencing homelessness are support to access health care, health promotion activities, campaigns and research on homelessness and health. Through our progression program we support over 40 volunteers with experience of homelessness and 2/3 of staff members have been homeless before.

Caritas Trieste, Italy

The Diocesan Foundation Caritas Trieste onlus was founded in 2010 as a support to the Diocesan Caritas of Trieste to manage the services promoted by the latter and therefore inherits a history that began in 1982. The Caritas Trieste Foundation operates in the area of ​​the province of Trieste with a particular focus on poverty reduction and social inclusion through services and projects. The Foundation carries out activities in the sector of social solidarity, hospitality and social assistance. The Foundation has a solid voluntary base, in fact the organization currently engages about 100 operators and 450 volunteers. The Caritas Trieste Foundation works in cooperation and partnership with local and regional public administrations to promote and manage projects and services.

Focus Ireland, Ireland

Since 1990 Focus Ireland provides long-term housing, with tenancy support, for people with experience of being homeless. We now provide homes for over 1,000 households who were previously homeless. A significant proportion of these households are now elderly, while others have support needs typical of people who are chronologically much older due to their homeless experience. In addition to developing our support systems to meet the needs of these people we are active in exploring new approaches to provide such support and ensure the maximum level of independent living.

From Streets to Homes! Association, Hungary

From Streets to Homes Association implements pilot projects to showcase ways out of the current housing crisis. We initiated the first Housing First program in Hungary. We campaign for local and national policy change. Our From Huts to Homes program uses vacant municipal apartments, renovated in cooperation with the partner municipality, NGOs, donors and future tenants (homeless persons living in the given district). Our second housing program is a Social Rental Agency pilot called Housing Now!. The agency manages 12 homes, utilizing all of which as affordable social rentals for its clients, at an average rent of 40-70% of the market rate. The members of the housing agency also mediate between owners and tenants to reduce risks on both sides; provide guarantee for the maintenance of the flat; and negotiate about renovations if needed.

From Streets to Homes Association provides housing and social work to people and families who experienced homelessness. Half of our tenants are aged 50 years or older. From Huts to Homes accommodates most of our elderly clients. In this program the organisation provides apartments and intensive social work focusing on individual needs. In 2021 they started to introduce new services like care work and catering especially to the older clients.

BMSZKI, Hungary

According to the results of February 3rd research, which is a survey asked from service users of Hungarian homeless service providers, the proportion of those who are over 60 years has increased from 11% to 40% between 1999-2000. In the meanwhile the proportion of those who are between 50-59 years is quite high: 31%. Many of them have got serious health problems and unable to work.

The proportion of elderlies who use the shelters of BMSZKI is rather high. Because of that we have put emphases on move forward procede for older, vulnerable people with income, to have access for the temporary hostels where they can experience safer condition and have opportunity to stay in during the day as well.

Besides, BMSZKI operates an inpatient facility for homeless people in order to provide adequate access to health care and ensure the necessary facilities to recover from acute health problems and chronic illnesses that require ongoing care. There are hospital departments at Szabolcs Temporary Hostel, with chronic internal medicine and the nursing department. Here, in addition to medical care we provide social work and mental health support. There is another unit in this hostel where people with high care needs can be accommodated while they wait to be admitted to a nursing home.

We are also trying to focus on developing services to meet the needs of clients with higher care and support needs at other temporary hostels of BMSZKI. In order to this next to social workers care workers are employed in more and more of our services.