XIV  European  Conference

Lisbon 16-17-18 March 2017

page in preparation

We must continue to learn from each other

Projekt UDENFOR has over the past two years participated in the SMES-European project 'Dignity and Well-being', a European project that aims to exchange experiences, explore barriers and strengthen and develop new methods in social and social psychiatric outreach work for people who are homeless and have complex social and psychological problems.
One may ask if it all makes sense to participate in pan-European cooperation on homelessness. Is there, after all, not too large differences between cultures, traditions and social legislation in European countries despite all are members of the EU community? Some would probably even say that we in the Nordic countries with our well-established welfare state is particularly privileged and therefore (says many colleges in my country) are the ones that are best suited to inspire others to do as we do, while we have nothing to collect from the outside.
That I dare to state is nonsense!

In projekt UDENFOR, we have 20 years experiences in sharing knowledge and cooperation with organizations around Europe for example through the organization SMES Europe, and through participation in SMES Europe's pan-European projects.
Our experience is that it gives even very good sense to see and hear how others work, and both to pass knowledge on and receive new knowledge back. It is quite true that there is much done differently, and there are situations in other countries, as we contend with in Denmark. But there are indeed areas where we have lagged behind. For example, have they in London as well as in Bruxelles been much earlier in the process of highly qualified outgoing and outreach services for the homeless living on the streets than we were - and they are still ahead.

The 'Dignity and Well-being' project was implemented in the period 2015 - 2017 in the form of three seminars, a report and a final conference. The seminars were held respectively in Warsaw, Athens and Copenhagen. The report “European Exchange and Inter-vision project on Homeless Pathways and Interventions with Homeless and Mentally Ill People” was written on the basis of the material and the knowledge that was gathered at the seminars. The final conference was held in Lisbon, d. 16, 17 and 18 March 2017.
Seven European countries, from north to south and east to west, participated in the three seminars; further some countries attended the conference.

The report brings together the experience of the three seminars in which a number of anonymous 'case studies' was presented in workshops. The report's findings are based on analysis of the 50 cases across all participating organizations and countries. The cases are distributed with roughly equal numbers of male and female homeless, mostly aged 30 to 60 years, and about a third of migrants. The homeless, which was described in the cases were divided between those in their outer lived up to the performances of living on the street, "dressed in a long skirt and strange hat walking around with bags full of clothes and whatever else she need to live on the street" and those who have not got anyone to think it was a homeless person who was responsible for one: "Neat and well satisfied with his life as a homeless person, usually in a good mood and welcoming."

It is of course the interventions that are of particular interest to the investigation and thus the report. Whether the analyses of the cases that are largely agreeing that the first meetings is essential for further work - which requires that there is a good time to be there and to have good time with the homeless and a good amount of patience. As a social worker wrote in a case study: "When I visit him, it seems as if he wants to talk, but he builds a wall of words that it is impossible to penetrate."
The analysis of the cases shows that, even for those who initially solid reject contact is a gradual change, often imperceptibly and only visible over a space of time. But it does not means, say the analysis, that the improvements in the state just comes by itself. Professional social workers, robust organizations, both voluntary and public, good cooperation between organizations with different approaches, which "form a network that is able to implement processes that not only relate to solve the acute problems", is necessary.

Based on the cases of the three seminars, we managed to achieve an increased awareness of the choice of methods in the work out in the streets, and we got a shared recognition of how the work not only requires professionalism, but also have to involve humanity. In the series of workshops were talk a lot about the daily challenges; the feelings that affect you when you go out and meet people in such a vulnerable position; about when you are rejected and most want to give up; on the difficult cooperation between the various sectors. And we talked about how we again and again recognized each other's experiences at work on the street whether you work in Athens, Barcelona, Bruxelles, in Copenhagen or one of the other cities that participated in the project.

On 14 SMES-Europe conferences held in Lisbon on Friday 17th and Saturday 18th March 2017. We were four who attended from projekt UDENFOR and a total more than 100 people from nine different European countries. During the two conference days, it was not the cases that stood in the centre, but the experiences and challenges that we had learned from the discussions of the cases.

One of the main themes was the old trotter on cooperation - or more often the lack of cooperation - between the social and the psychiatric system. It is incredible that it can continue to be a challenge!
There was also much talk about the outreach work. And that it can´t stand alone. There must be something that follows. It was a general attitude of the presentations and the debate that in some countries, but not all, shelters were to be rearmed, but that the Housing First strategy, which most countries have adopted, should be strengthened and maintained. Finally, the need for rehabilitative interventions briefly mentioned.

At the debate at the conference it has been pointed out the need to maintain a demand for social justice and shared responsibility to homeless people with a mental illness who live isolated in the street. There is a need for interventions that do not isolate them, but engages them in community and civic life.
It could overall be conclude that social and health workers working with outreach street work, still need to gain experience and to learn more about the outreach work. One can also conclude that both national and EU, is needed to ensure the economy that is needed and to ensure a liable policy on the social, the health, the residential and employment areas that promote the integration of not only the homeless who live on the street, but all homeless.

The final word on outreaching street work is not told by this. In cooperation between SMES-Europa and the Portuguese Centro Hospitalar Psiquiátrico de Lisboa and with multiple partners, among them projekt UDENFOR, there will, over the next three years, continue an exchange and exploration of what good social outreach and social psychiatric work in a project concerning cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices and partnerships - vocational education and training. This project is financed by EU Erasmus+ program.


Preben Brandt
President projekt UDENFOR


for your evaluation and proposals, please click on this link  :    Survey conference SMES Lisbon




4.  What was the most useful idea or practice you came across during the VISITS TO LISBON SERVICES
on the Thursday 16th ?

Multi-disciplinary teams, working with the most entrenched rough sleepers.

Foi importante ter conhecido as residências de autonomização do H. Júlio de Matos, dá-nos outra visão sobre o trabalho realizado visando a autonomia dos utentes e o sua integração social.

The solidary lockers and the Health Quiosque.

Meaning of outreach team . Psychiatrist in outrach team. Cooperation between institutions.

Use of patient potentials

The lockers on the street and the NPISA way of working.

Does not apply

housing first

Centro Hospitalar Psiquiátrico de Lisboa (CHPL)

ORIENTAR Association - Plastic arts and recuperation of furniture and other materials as reintegration and occupation for people. Their Vintage Store which has the users contribution.

A importância do trabalho concertado e em rede em prol da intervenção individual.

very useful

the group of dr. Bento

The open meeting for people with mental health issues. The fact that the psychiatrists meet with the people afterwards, based on their needs not on the needs of the professional. Perfect

le mobilier urbains, "the lockers" and "ealth box"

J'ai beaucoup aimé l'idée des "lockers"

psychotherapeutic group

The networking of services (NPISA)

Work of continuity in mental health

to Know another experiences

About low threshold projects the most useful ideas were the lockers and chiosco.


5.  What was the most useful idea or practice you heard about during the CONFERENCE DAYS Friday and Saturday?

Auditing services for barriers to access.

É importante dar tempo às pessoas para se poder alterar hábitos de vida, respeitando a sua condição psíquica e física.

Having the Maslow piramid of needs as a basic framework , to work once the person is housed.

We should heard the voice of homeless persons not only in inside the institution, but also in governmental level.

The needs of the mind beyond the needs of the body. Develop dreams and access to culture.

A tool for an objective assessment of the social integration of the participants

video infermieres de rue

St Mungos/Mesa Redonda Migrantes/ Workshop Serviço de Saúde e Saúde Mental

Cinema Debate - example from France

Direito inalienável do todos os seres humanos à habitação condigna, aos cuidados, à saúde. Respeito pela liberdade individual

interest for mental health for migrants

Particularly the theme about Housing - First

well-being of the homeless and Housing first

It was mostly how what I heard sparked ideas in me. In Dublin we have all the services for homeless people, everything they need. What we do not have is everyone working together, sharing information and working for the betterment of the homeless people.

Housing first: je ne connaissais pas bien ce dispositif. Cela n'existe pas dans ma région , il est par ailleurs important pour moi de constater que ce concept est largement partagé dans d'autre pays d'Europe

working with embassy for foreign patients

The combined pillars "Home & Housing and Rehabilitation & Employment

The experience of housing first in Ireland

St Mungo's experience with her conclusions and the experiences about housing first. On saturday we have appreciated a lot the vision and imput about immigration situations


6.  How might these – or other things you heard about – CAN CHANGE YOUR DAILY PRACTICE ?

In the way , that it can be very useful to help to plan joint action plans with the people I visit, and not to propose, a " too high a need" or even plan any, if the basic ones aren`t acheaved.

I will try to do my best daily job with homeless persons and will try to make best cooperations with other institutions- hospitals, police and so on.

We must combine our forces to end homelessness. Social care should not be discarded

Start with an objective assessment of the social integration of the participants

Confirmação que o trabalho integrado, em rede, é o caminho preferencial para intervenção neste âmbito. Que se constrói em conjunto. Necessidade de melhor capacitar os profissionais e as instituições para isso.

Will definitely introduce some of these inputs in the next year plan of actions of my project.

Não aceitar tudo o que existe. Agora sei que se pode fazer diferente, há quem o faça e resulta logo temos que insistir e não baixar os braços.

it can change my practice about the housing for severe mental hillness patients

The way we "treat" and passion we must apply to help this population.

Rather than focus on the gaps in services, I will endeavour to build relationships and links with services that already exist to provide the support that the homeless people need.

Je souhaite me rapprocher de ma hiérarchie et associations porteuses de "housing first" pour communiquer sur le terrain

involve patients in their treatment, through help to others (with psycotherapeutic group)

New knowledge, experience in the field and networking can make the daily practice more effective, more interesting.

Networking works and influences public policies

It's always useful to think about another practices

The most important concept is to be able to work together actually. The private services and the istitutional services having a real contest to face to the real problems to discuss and giving them pragmatic answers.


7.  Do you have ANY SUGGESTION FOR PRIORITY SUBJECTS - TOPICS for future SMES initiatives, events, projects?

I think we should develop a sort of basic profile for the resources that we visit. A template , with different contents, to fill in, every time we do a visit.

Night shelters, outrach teams methods.

Translation during the workshop :D

More workshops.

Reforço o que foi abordado na Conferência. SMES e entidades exercerem capacidade de influência para que as politicas correspondam às necessidades. Exercitar capacidade de influenciar a decisão das politicas. Dinamizar rede de parceiros para intensificarem partilha de conhecimento e experiencias

A moment to share practices from different countries with video and pictures. I think that a better choice possibility is important on the workshops, if possible organize them in a way which we could take part in at least two in the morning and two in the afternoon and not just one.

the connections between the total interventions for homeless

Continuity of Care, bridging the gap within the professions; medical, social, addiction, education and housing. Homelessness is not just the lack of shelter it is a societal constraint and early intervention is the key

j'aurais souhaité plus d'informations sur les réalités de chaque territoire pour mieux contextualiser le propos des différents intervenants

housing and follow-up in housing

Integrated services and user involvement (person centred services and co-production of services) What is social inovation in the projects for homeless people?

Street work project

to be more practice whit change experiences and clinical and social cases

We think would be interesting to have more workshops to work together to create also new interactive and international sinergic groups. We think that this kind of organization is very useful and we could make it more visible and important.


8.  Any other free comments about the conference?

I really enjoyed it, and it was definitely very motivating. And again I would like to congratulate the organisation, specifically Elias and Luigi

Thank You.

Thank you because it allowed me to meet field actor and develop my practice.

Great organization and amazing ambient among participants

more little workshops and less plenary interventions

all the presentation was very important ant interesting. The only thing i must point out was the time not beeing respected, leaving few time to the speackers talk about their themes.

I thought it was very professionally run. Everyone was so welcoming and knowledgeable. It has inspired me greatly, thank you

soucis de traduction

L'intervention de Sergio Aires était particulièrement intéressante et stimulante.

It will be important to have the workshops conclusion

Excellent wellcame

The conference was very interesting and also the climate was so good. Would be great to have more occasions like that realizing and to constitute a stable set of different professional roles



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