Units for Homeless - an inspiring action from Patras, Greece

13 January 2022
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Units for Homeless - an inspiring action from Patras, Greece

The “Open Day Centre” and the “Hosting Unit” of the Municipality of Patras have become a crucial reference point for their beneficiaries who include homeless migrants, refugees and asylum seekers, Roma people, and local population.

They offer a combination of shelter, nursery, counselling and networking services by providing access to a variety of facilities, such as fully furnished bedrooms, bathrooms, cleaning equipment and materials (washing machines included), a nursery room, festivities hall and a wardrobe (with donated clothes). In addition, specialised staff provide counselling with a view to improving beneficiaries’ self-confidence, preparing them for the labour market and connecting them with related local employment opportunities. The services also cover health issues, through raising awareness on hygiene (Covid-19 pandemic included) as well as the provision of health checks and networking with public hospitals and special clinics, where necessary. The priority is for families with children, so that they can be introduced to schools and services providing free learning support. Beneficiaries are also assisted in applying for allowances and learning about basic money management skills. Respecting the operational rules of the Units, staff and each other, is a pre-requisite for being permitted to use the space and its services.

Through facilitating homeless people's access to the programmes and services which cover multiple areas of intervention, and also by applying a holistic, fully participatory approach, the ultimate goal is that they “feel at home”, and are able to stand up on their own two feet and improve the quality of their life, by trying to rent a house and entering the labour market. As a result, they are increasingly able to exploit their potential for a better life.

The two Units are established and run by the Social Organisation of the Municipality of Patras (KODIP), using funding from the Operational Programme 2014-2020, of the Region of Western Greece (RWG), through the European Social Fund (ESF).

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