The Budapest Methodological Centre of Social Policy and Its Institutions (BMSZKI) is the homeless service provider of Budapest Municipality. It was established in 1993 providing service at ‘only’ 8 sites back then. Since then, significant changes have occurred in BMSZKI’s life almost every year: new services have been established, others have been shut down, transformed or expanded.
The professional activities of the Institution have also been continuously changing. We have made a great effort to ensure the highest quality of services for vulnerable people who have lost their dignity and have turned to us for help. We have developed a methodology of needs assessment for homeless people. We have established a special professional network in order to solve issues related to housing, health care, addiction and social home admission efficiently. We have differentiated the profiles of our services based on the needs of homeless people; services were adapted to the demands that arose.
• ‘low-threshold services’ can be used without any or with minimal criteria (e.g. public health re- quirements) – we provide services to those who would otherwise be left without any institutional care;
• in the framework of the ‘Opening to the Street’ pro- gram we have established ‘open-access shelters’ where rough sleepers can sleep;
• we operate ‘move-on’ accommodation for those who – together with targeted social assistance – will be able to move on to independent housing within a short period of time. Moving-on is sup- plemented by housing support as well;
• the quality of the services has greatly improved: our night shelters were renovated, the number of places at mass accommodation was decreased (or is fully sustained during the winter season only) and several newly renovated services have been opened especially for people arriving from the street;
• we have improved our health care services, a modern hospital department has been estab- lished on the territory of the former Szabolcs street hospital.
The efficiency of our work is continuously measured, documented and published in our professional re- ports.
These days BMSZKI is one of the largest homeless service provider of Budapest and the whole Cen- tral European region: it provides social services for homeless people on 22 sites.
• There are 1470 permanent places in our hostels,
• a further 891 places in our night shelters,
• 80 places in temporary homes for families,
• and 14 places in our Mother-child Crisis Accom- modation available for people in need.
• Our Medical Crisis Service operates a chronic in- patient department with 73 beds, GP and special- ist care.
• There are more than 500 people on average visit- ing our day centers daily.
• Our outreach teams are in contact with hundreds of people.
At our services trained social colleagues work at all opening hours; we put a great emphasis on their continuous, specialized and advanced training.