Project     Dignity and Well-being   phase 3 

Accessibility  &  Quality   -   Congruence  &  Efficiency   -   Sustenability  &  Resilience

SHELTER  Emergency  Services :  towards new perspectives





"The  person exists when her voice is heard and understood..."


and  'Well-being', these two key words of the 13th SMES Conference in Rome (2013) continue to inspire the different phases our project :


The first phase (2014-16) of study, "Dignity and Well-being"

Research/action about 50 profiles of homeless people at the base of 3 European seminars (2014-16),

focused mainly on the individual, who, due to several social and health factors, had to live permanently on the street, in extreme conditions of deprivation, neglect, often due to health problems. The profiles of more than 50 people in charge of health and social services were discussed and analysed by colleagues in three workshops specifically to understand why, despite the various services offered, a certain number of these people (or so it seemed) preferred to stay on the street rather than accept the solution offered by the services.

XIV European SMES Conference in Lisbon  (March 2017) 

The second phase (2016-19) of  D-&-WB project:

Trough an Erasmus+ project, it focused , above all, on the four sectors: social, health, housing, recovery, which are pillars for the active reintegration of people living in extremely precarious social and health situations, following essentially the same methodology of 1st phase:

   Fourth trans-national workshops,  for exchange of  experiences, for inter-vision, evaluation and proposals in these fourth fields,
   in - - 3.housing - 3.recovering  with a specific attention  to outreach work  and  to training and health of workers.


The third phase (2021-23)  Accessibility & Quality  -  Congruence & Efficiency  -  Sustainability & Resilience

to propose an in-depth assessment of the congruence between need and service, the dissemination of effective and innovative practices that may or may not correspond to the expressed or unexpressed needs, and even more so to the main objective of inclusion and participation.

Very often, we find that services  -  especially if they are too institutionalised  -  essentially meet specific needs (emergency shelter in winter, canteens, showers, clothes...) rather than the person of the world, who lives in extreme situations of precariousness and abandonment.

The risk - often - is to meet "our" needs: security, order, clean city, good conscience ..., rather than listening and understanding each other, that just as "other" we disoriented his word express verbally or through a body injured that should be given our full attention.

  1. 2021 - Collecting at least 50 profiles of emercency services providing services to homeless people and  50 profiles of people  reciving services by emergency centres, day centres, social and health services.
    The partners  in 4th European workshop will propose the collected information and co-working  with  the  colleagues , in workshop,  for evaluation of  Organisation offering services  and  of  people who welcome  and  who provide  emergency services .

  2. 2022- Attendance at 4  workshops in different capital cities in EU, in order to exchange practices and ideas, innovative projects and proposals for more involvement of Policy makers, Administrators and civic society.

  3. 2023 - The dissemination of final report  through an event promoted to the European Parliament in the first half of 2023 and the 15th  European Conference organized in the second quarter in relation to the 30th anniversary of EMS-Europe, which will focus particular attention to the congruence between the needs assessed and the services offered, to the availability and accessibility of quality services for disadvantaged and  excluded people.



                   Project  Dignity and Well-being                Phase 3 


of  SERVICES   offered to the person living in extreme poverty and health conditions



Homeless people living in severe & chronic social, physical, psychical precariousness are a symptom of the malaise and a permanent injury to democracy and social cohesion.

They are almost a provocation and a challenge both for those ones working in health / mental health and social sector and for those who should be responsible on the policies and on the citizens

Despite any proposal for help and support, a number of these homeless 'seem' to prefer the street or an emergency centre, a shelter, an occupied building.

WHY some of these homeless people in this conditions seem to refuse any planned and institutionalized help?

Are the answers adequate to the requests of help?  Are the interventions respectful of the dignity of the person and coherent with the complex needs they bring?  Is the lack of integrate comprehensive services, of continuity in the social inclusion actions,  the cause of these impermeable barriers?


dignity and


SMES-Europa, following the results of its activities to collect and analyse the profiles of homeless people with mental illness, proposes 'Dignity and well-being'  transnational project of exchange knowledge in the field of social and mental health vulnerability, in order to promote adequate, effective and respectful responses, ensuring the dignity and well-being of every person with access to fundamental rights and basic services.


SMES-EU, after the two previous phases of the Dignity and Well-being (D-&-WB) project, aims to continue and develop this initiative, shifting the focus of the person towards services.


  1. What is the agreement between the person who needs it and the service offered?

  2. How can international exchanges between organizations be promoted to analyze, evaluate and share knowledge and best practices?

  3. How to promote health and social services, cooperation for cures and sustainable care?

  4. How can integrated services be provided in line with the complex needs of homeless people with mental illness?

  5. How can we prevent the risk of turning emergency services into life-support services?



We suggest these 4 categories of services  in relation to 4 priority needs observed in the previous two phases of the D-&-WB project:

  1. Social : Night shelters and emergency services

  2. Health/Mental Health,  Emergency Services and dispensaries 

  3. Home / housing and other kind of accommodation

  4. Recovery and Rehabilitation Centre



  1. Study visit

  2. Workshops

  3. Dissemination



SMES proposes to analyze the context, interventions and daily practices through exchanges and inter-vision, in order to evaluate the actions and practices of the services in relation to accessibility and needs of person  .

  1. Collecting at least 50 profiles of centres that provide services to people in emergency centres, day centres, social and health sectors. Protocol Services.pdf -  Protocol Services W

  2. Inter-vision in a team meeting before drafting the protocol

  3. Participation in fourth transnational workshops 2022-23 (North East - Centre, EU countries) where there will be an exchange of ideas and proposals on the data collected in the protocols

  4. A final synthetic report

  5. A final event 2023: in connection with the 30th anniversary of SMES-Europa, to offer the opportunity to highlight the congruence between the needs assessed and the services offered.


  • observe

  • exchange

  • assess

  • synthesize

  1. Listen and observe in depth

  2. Visit to the host country's services and participate in inter-vision meetings with the colleagues of the services visited

  3. Highlighting the priority, exchanging & evaluating different point of view, with a focus on integrate (social & health)  practice and coherence between demand and response, accessibility and service

  4. Collecting data on different service systems in partner countries using a common protocol for analysis of data collected and publication of a final report

  5. Final event to present the results of the project to the decision maker



  1. Improving the knowledge of professionals

  2. Participation of the institution and policy makers in health and social services

  3. Participation of formal and informal training agencies



-  1st  year  2021    Gathering general information, by emails and online meetings,  on shelters
   looking at different topics:  the  services offered and what  - in  reason  of   crises  -  the
   service have been forced to change, adapt, innovate  -  provisionally or  definitively - with
   what expenditure of energy & resources.

-  2nd  year 2022 : Workshops   where  will  be  proposed qualitative exchanges, deepest
    analyse & evaluation  Study visits:  in  order  to  exchange  with  workers  and  guests. 
    Exchange of information. 

-   3rd  year 2023  :  Final Report  sharing  for  advocacy & training:   an event at European
    Parliament and the XV SMES  Conference bringing the results of the exchanges of
    experience and good practices and innovative and efficient proposals together. 



SMES-Europa with its transnational social and health network

Social and health professionals - Housing and recovery - Civil Society and Decision Makers.