AntwerpFrom August, the city of Antwerp will organize a new shelter for homeless and homeless young adults in the Pension Van Schoonhoven reception center in the Van Schoonhovenstraat. In concrete terms, this concerns 12 rooms that are available 24/7, the intention is to scale up that number to 22.
More than 10% of the homeless who are known in the Antwerp night shelter are young adults between 18 and 25 years. It involves about 80 young people. “But they often don’t feel at home in traditional night shelters, and opt for sleeping on the sofa or the street,” said Tom Meeuws, alderman for Social Affairs. “After that, there are young people who have to shape their own lives.”
The city of Antwerp now organizes a separate shelter for these young people, not only at night, but also during the day. They are also helped in their search for a new, independent (living) existence. The project will start in August.
“We maintain a night shelter for the homeless, but for the most vulnerable groups – such as the sick homeless and now also young people – we opt for a reinforcement approach and we provide 24-hour shelter in bed for young people who have to go to sleep, but otherwise preferably even earlier. , to prevent authenticity among young people. We offer a young person who does not have one to spend the night, a bed the same day. The intention is to keep the stay in the youth shelter as short as possible, and immediately, together with CAW and a whole range to allow partners from the Mind the Gap collective to move on to a tailor-made residential trajectory,” said Alderman Meeuws.
The further approach in this new reception initiative takes place in three steps: during a first, short period of a few weeks, the young people come to rest, and it is examined how they want to be able to. Subsequently, a transition program tailored to the young person is sought. This can range from recovery talks with the home environment, reception for students, temporary housing projects, assisted residences with partners, to guidance towards independent living on the private rental market. The third part, which is still being worked on, is about 30 youth homes that will be set up for a maximum period of one year. Van is also looking for a sustainable home.
Pension van Schoonhoven is the central location for the city’s homeless policy, which is also where the urban dispatch and family shelter are located. CAW will organize the youth shelter. An annual budget of around 800,000 euros is allocated to the project.
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