The Streetwork team interacts with people with very few resources of their own. For this reason, the deprivation experienced by a client is always the crux of all communication. However, this does pose some challenges:
- Strict, unwritten rules and social norms apply within communities on the streets. Accepting help while living on the streets is often interpreted as a sign of weakness and can generate mistrust.
- Even communities that live on the streets have a routine: the groceries and drugs necessary for survival must be bought and consumed, places to sleep arranged and money obtained. There is little time to carry out conversations that may lead to true self-reflection, and therefore to changed perspectives.
- The entire street environment is set up in a way that means clients often spend their whole life in a role determined by others. This is another factor that makes it difficult to achieve true insight and a change of thinking.
For these reasons, the Streetwork team has developed a number of additional projects around their core activities with help from other external experts. These have been inspired by various initiatives around the world and many of them have been working well for several years. Having the Streetwork team present during these activities has encouraged countless clients from various scenes to participate. These activities provide an opportunity to interact with clients in completely new situations, giving the Streetwork team a chance to focus on a particular client's strengths. The fact that these activities are slightly removed from the street environment makes them more conducive to self-reflection, thus helping to initiate change. Experiences from these activities can then also be discussed back in the street environment, which gives the Streetwork team an innocuous way to start conversations.
Service providers Caritas Jeunes et Familles, Caritas Accueil et Soldiarité (CAS) and Inter-Actions have set up a project with various opticians to make it possible for individuals without health insurance to obtain glasses to manage problems with their eye sight.
This meeting point is attended by a streetwork team member who acts as a point of contact for the various people who have got to know them on their rounds through the city district. The visitors to this centre mostly consist of people between the ages of 18 and 40 years old.
The "Open Space" functions as a starting point for various projects and activities run by the streetwork teams.
The Parachute is a partnership between the streetwork network and the Luxembourg Red Cross that offers:
- a fixed point of call with contact person;
- signposting and networking with appropriate assistance options;
- (hot) non-alcoholic drinks, phone-charging facilities and water bowls for dogs
The Rebuilding Powerteam project, which is primarily organised and run by Caritas Accueil et Solidarité (CAS) with help from Georges Christen, offers individuals in difficult living conditions access to facilities for getting fit and improving their quality of life despite any illness they may suffer from. The project also aims to encourage good hygiene and build other soft skills.
The Rebuilding Streetfootball project encourages clients from various different environments to take part in regular exercise. Clients have the opportunity to participate in a number of national (Coupe des Quartiers or District Cup) and international tournaments.
The regular Den Treff meeting takes place at the Streetwork premises in Pfaffenthal. The streetwork team regularly welcomes young people from the Pfaffenthal district and focuses on low-threshold services and participation. Ensuring that the project develops based on input from the young people involved is another important element of this activity. The streetwork team supervises, advises and listens. Individual support topics are often identified during this dialogue (dropping out of school, looking for work, signposting, etc.).
Streetart, Streetcare, Streethair and Streetsport
The Streetart project run by Inter-Actions has been delivering art projects for Service Streetwork clients for many years. The project also covers various smaller activities.
The Streetcare project run by Inter-Actions organises joint routes with medical staff from Médecins du monde (Doctors of the World) to offer care to clients without health insurance.
The Streethair project is run by Inter-Actions. A trained hairdresser offers free services to anyone who would like a haircut.
The Streetsport project includes a range of individual courses for various types of sport, particularly martial arts. Participants who do well on the courses also have the opportunity to take on responsibilities within the project.
The Winteraktion (Winter Action) campaign run by the Ministry for Family and Integration via the Dräieck (a partnership between Inter-Actions, the Luxembourg Red Cross and Caritas Accueil et Solidarité [CAS]) is now organised centrally at a building in Findel. The aim of the campaign is to offer homeless people in Luxembourg City a place to sleep during the winter months.
A wet shelter is a place where clients are allowed to consume alcohol that they have purchased themselves and where they can access professional counselling and support services. Luxembourg City currently has two wet shelters: Le Courage at Dernier Sol run by Caritas Accueil et Solidarité (CAS), and the Am Haff shelter in Rue Willy Goergen run by the Luxembourg Red Cross streetwork team.
The CAS streetwork team works together closely with the night shelters run by CAS, one of which is exclusively for women and is financed by the Ministry for Family (Ministère de la Famille). The CAS streetwork team arranges for clients to go to the night shelters and work with the staff there to offer counselling and care. The night shelter staff regularly accompany the streetwork team on its routes.
The night shelter run by the Luxembourg Red Cross is also staffed by social workers. The streetwork, night shelter and wet shelter teams all work in close collaboration.
This social service helps individuals in precarious living situations of any type to access signposting advice and assistance.