H O M E                                   Erasmus+  project   PERSON FIRST

Health & Mental Health  -  Cure & Care  -  Rehabilitation

promoting accessibility - improving e-quality - reinforcing net-working

GRID for preparing and reporting Study Visits & Exchanges

in Ljubljana  18-19-20-21  April




1.       Availability and accessibility of services

a. How do homeless people get to your services? (through outreaching by street workers, referral,
mouth-to-ear information,…)

b. Do you feel that all homeless people can find their way to your organisation? If not, why?

c.  To what extent can emergency support (shelter, healthcare…) be offered ‘within 48 hours’ to homeless people ?

d. What are potential obstacles to access (on the side of the users / the providers / other e.g. legal barriers)?

e. How could these obstacles (ideally) be overcome?


2.       Match between services and needs

a. How are the needs of homeless people identified? What methods are used to make sure that they can tell their stories and express their needs / aspirations?

b. What are the most typical needs of homeless people?

c.  Are all these needs adequately addressed in practice?

d.  What explains potential mismatches between existing services and  needs of users?


3.       We see 4 types of services as essential for homeless persons: social support,  (mental) healthcare, housing
      and rehabilitation (through work or social  activation). In this study visit / webinar, we focus on ‘(mental) health

a.  What kind of (mental) health issues do you encounter among the users of your services?

                        i.  chronic diseases: Respiratory diseases, rheumatism, arthritis, back and neck problems, heart and
 vascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, stomach ulcers, liver diseases,  

                       ii. mental health issues: loneliness, anxiety, depression, psychoses, alcohol addiction, substance abuse, …

b.  To what extent are your services able to respond to these needs? If not,  why?

c.   What are the challenges that you meet in responding to the (mental) health needs of your users?
  (complexity, resources, number of staff, competences of staff…)

d.  How can these challenges be (better) met?


4.       Integrated services

a. (How) are different types of services offered in an integrated way – in the case of your organisation? (through ‘one-stop shops’, through referrals between services, through networking between service providers…)

b. Can you describe in a more detailed way how this integrated provision operates, from the perspective of the homeless person?

c. What factors facilitate cooperation between services? What factors hamper cooperation?

d. What would be needed to achieve ‘perfectly’ integrated service 


5.       Role of homeless people in the organisation

a.  How is the ‘voice’ of homeless persons heard in your organisation? (intake interview, informal chats, periodic individual consultation, specific group sessions, written evaluation forms, exit interviews, complaint procedures, mediation by ‘peer workers’…)

b. What measures are taken by the organisation to achieve genuine participation of the service users in the service provision? (e.g. specific training, recruitment as paid staff…)

c.  Can you give concrete examples of how homeless persons contribute(d) to improvements in service provision?


6.       Implications for human resources

a. Please sketch briefly the staffing of your organisation (employees, free-lancers and volunteers) in terms of numbers, types of qualification, experience in the sector of services to homeless people. What are the strengths and weaknesses?

b. What are the most important gaps in terms of qualifications / in-service training?

                                i.   Specialised ‘professional’ qualifications

                               ii.   In-service training for staff in general / specific categories of staff or volunteers         

c.  What training provision / training materials (documents, conferences,
 videoclips…) can you recommend to help fill these gaps?

d.  What are the main obstacles in filling these gaps?

e.  What measures -other than training opportunities - are in place to keep co-workers motivated? (e.g. intervision, good salaries, job rotation, specific incentives…)

Substance abuse

Among the street dwellers we spoke to, alcohol was the most common intoxicant, whether combined with other drugs or not. Antwerp has a night shelter that also accommodates users of illegal substances: De Biekorf. Substance use is tolerated there. It is a unique approach for Flanders.

While shelters for homeless drug users undoubtedly offer advantages, coexistence with other centres that have zero tolerance policies for alcohol and drugs leads to strange situations.

Discussions with street dwellers reveal this.