EXCHANGE FOR CHANGING:  learning by difference

Dignity & Well-being: from assistance to inclusive participation

Project Title:

DIGNITY & WELL-BEING : Exchange for changing

Project Start Date


Project Total Duration

31 months

Project End Date



Centro Hospitalar Psiquiátrico de Lisboa

Application submittided

Application approuvedçamento%20aprovado%202016-1-PT01-KA202-022970.pdf



Homeless living in severe & chronic social, physical, psychical precariousness are a symptom of the malaise of our society and a permanent injury to democracy and social cohesion. They are almost provocation and challenge both for those working in health / mental health and social sector and for those who should be responsible of the polis / citizens

Despite any proposal for aid, these homeless people  seems to prefer  life in the street or in a emergency centres, shelter, squats.

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

Perhaps not adequate answer to request of help ?  Perhaps not coherent intervention in specific situation ? 

Perhaps completely disconnection and for this reason there are so impermeable barriers?




Professional workers in social – health - mental health field, in private and public services, including salaried and volunteers people, who day y after day they are confronted with a set of old & new issues, complex needs, with political & social pressures that have nothing to do with ethical respect of dignity of the person, with remuneration inadequate, with unjustifiable staff reductions and finally with forms of constant stress that not only extinguish any creative proposal, but reduce each intervention in charitable assistance.

We will associate in this project partners working in these 4th sectors, who are 4th pillars in supporting inclusive & participative projects:

1°) Mental health Institutional & Community services       2°) Soc. Ass. services: Emergency shelters, drop inn centres; dispensaries...
3°) Home  services: solidarity apartments, housing first…,  4°) Participation citizenship: job adequate; recognized role; re-capacitation




To improve - through mutual and continuum learning, proposed to professional workers in social and mental health field - the capacities listening and understanding the voice and the help requested of people living in conditions of extreme deprivation and degradation, in order to propose adequate, effective and coherent answers and ensuring for each person dignity and well-being facilitating the access to fundamental right and to basic citizen services.  



Through the exchanges of knowledge and the analysis of experiences, in relationship to these extreme precariousness situations with no appearing positive solution, we intend to highlight effective and innovative alternatives in approach, in support and in guidance of these suffering persons. 

Through thorough analysis of the similar and different situation & conditions of life of some of these roofless people, in conditions of extreme deprivation and degradation, we would like to listen their voices and understand their help request, in order to improve adequate, effective, coherent and comprehensive answers, ensuring for each person dignity and well-being, promoting and facilitating the access to fundamental right and to basic citizen services.
Main objectives of 'Dignity & Well-being project’, to :

1.     Meet, listen & understand deepest, the voice of people voice-less,  identity-lesshome-lesshealth-lesshope-less: excluded.

2.     Evaluate the causes & factors of this deprivation and why  they seems to prefer life in the street or in the emergency centres.

3.     Identify some innovative practices and coherent projects, in respect of  dignity of  each person;

4.     Recommend some absolute priorities in social & health policy.

5.     Promote & facilitate a great collaboration & net-working between workers of Institutions, Organisations, Associations involved in this field, for realising efficient synergy and turn these daily practices into effective models of efficiently networking

6.     Involve all civic society: policymakers, administrators, citizens and mass media, because this is a structural society problem and not only and specific problem for professional people: doctors, social workers and similar... 

The needs addressed

Better and deepest knowledge  for  efficient and sustainable interventions

Directly this  project for ‘adult education and permanent training’  has as its target the knowledge  needs of professionals and volunteers from different European countries, working in the field of extreme poverty, closely linked to mental health problems.

Indirectly, the project would improve positive consequences for understanding, adequate and sustainable taking charge treatment for those who are too often excluded or invisible or so much visible rejected by indifferent or pity : the home-less, health-less, hope-less of European metropolis.


To improve knowledge and to building capacity at 3 levels :

Local levels preparing profiles of homeless: partners with each own multidisciplinary team discuss of single cases of homeless, preparing some profiles following the protocol common

Transnational level exchanges & workshops: workshops where it’s possible to have study/visits of services in order to understand how the services contribute to dignity and  to discuss about prepared profiles

European level seminar & hearing:  with final seminar and hearing in European Parliament.

From concrete cases and daily experiences discussed and evaluated in workshops sessions,  try to synthetize the similarities and differences in both the living conditions of homeless, that the interventions and pathways, in order to suggest in final memorandum more adequate intervention and  recommend  absolute priorities.

In a first moment the more important for the rest is the preparation of profiles :

Concerning  steps in prepare profiles :

1.     prepare profiles, following this protocol  (

Each participant will be asked to prepare, with own local team, and to write the profiles of homeless mentally ill and to describe the ups and downs of the intervention. 

2.     the project will use a methodology of inter-vision by pairs that on workshops with relatively small groups of experienced professionals will present the cases, evaluate the similar and different complex needs analyse the adequacy, effectiveness and innovation in intervention and finally to underline the results both : positive or not with  recommendation and priority proposals.  
The discussion and analysis of the profiles and interventions, in workshops will be made in order to identify shared difficulties and positive and innovative practices.
Especially try  to see what is  common and what is different and more specific not only to each case, but also to each context, legislations , services opportunity offered in each different country in Europa. Several workshops will be made in different countries in order to insure  a wide range of experiences from different countries and organizations.

3.     the international Seminar will give the opportunity to discuss the topics identified in the workshops as most relevant in a larger forum, with more participants and specialists.

In the end, the project aims at providing a context for learning from experience putting together professionals from different countries and backgrounds that work directly and actively with the homeless mentally ill.


The project also aims at producing a document that will share all that was learned and provide guidelines for good practice to the community of professionals working with the homeless mentally ill.

Finally, the project aims at making a document to present at national and european political level, of what was identified as important for politics to take into account in order to facilitate the help for this very special group, the homeless mentally ill.

Important expertise of  CHPL and  SMES-Europa on ‘mutual training homeless & mentally illness’

Both from 1992 …. Members of SMES-Europa and  coworking  together in many initiatives .



1.     First meeting of Steering  committee: October 2016

2.     Launch of the project in October 2016

3.     9 workshops:  2 for each year  2017-18-19

4.     1 conclusive  conference  2019

5.     1 publication of profile

6. 1 DVD for each workshop

The budget


A variable amount up to300.000  (100 000 by year) or more  until 450000  for projects with duration of 36 months (or 24 month). The budget will be developed in a coherent and balanced way according to the final partnership composition and according to related responsibilities within each WP.


Expected results

1.     building capacity to co-working together: public & private services  –  health & social sectors

2.     deepest knowledge complex needs and adequate answers

3.     involve more civic society, policy makers, administrators and mass media

4.     involve European Institutions : Commission, Parliament

5.     make publication  and photo


Three years  : October  2016  until   October 2019