The nternship at Provivienda Madrid, Spain

Testimonials 2023 Relais Social Charleroi- After internship at Provivienda Madrid, Spain

We continue to publish reviews of our interns.
Internships with Ecett are always interesting and effective!
Arthur Mertens from the Relais Social de Charleroi, Belgium, after an internship at Provivienda Madrid, Spain:
“During this trip, we were able to see for ourselves the realities in the Madrid region. The lack of public housing and the repercussions this can have on the running of the institution.
We were also able to discover new ways of doing things, which we hope to be able to adapt to our Belgian regulatory framework.”
Catherine Manise from the Relais Social de Charleroi, Belgium, after an internship at Provivienda Madrid, Spain
“One of the special features of the HOUSING FIRST project in Spain is that the customer receives accommodation managed directly by PROVIVIENDA. Unlike in Belgium, most of the accommodation offered comes from the private housing stock (80% private housing/20% public housing).
The customer – or beneficiary as we call them in the HOUSING FIRST programme in Belgium – has a choice of several homes. (usually 3 different ones). The quality of the accommodation we were able to visit during our trip appears to be superior to that offered to our homeless clients in Belgium, in terms of comfort and finish. The beneficiaries of the project are not grouped together in blocks of flats, but the social mix is preserved and encourages social integration with the other occupants of private buildings. What’s more, customers receive fully furnished accommodation. When they move into the accommodation, the beneficiaries are welcomed by the team that will provide them with support, but the first shopping they do with them is limited to foodstuffs and a few cleaning products. In my opinion, this is a real added value to the project compared with Belgian HOUSING FIRST support.
We were able to visit a women-only (alcohol) consumption room (in a shelter for women victims of violence) and interview two of the centre’s workers. It was an enriching and inspiring experience, given that the Relais social is involved in discussions about setting up a drug consumption room here in Charleroi, and that a consumption room could be part of the projects currently being developed (Médi-halte).
Personally, I was able to talk to my colleagues and the social workers we met about specific problems (Diogenes Syndrome) that I might encounter in my professional practice.”
Julien Liégeois from Relais Social de Charleroi, Belgium, after an internship with Provivienda Madrid, Spain:
“Meeting the teams at Provivienda and Hogar Si was a very interesting way of understanding how the Housing First project in Madrid (and, to a certain extent, in Spain) is being developed. As a result, all the aims of the placement were achieved.
In fact, there are similarities between the way we work and the way they work, as well as disparities. As far as the similarities are concerned, I’m thinking of the profiles of the beneficiaries and the problems they present (e.g. substance abuse, mental health problems, life on the streets, Diogenes syndrome). The Housing First principles are also the same.
Social workers also play an important role in integrating service users into their local community, whether through external support services or social venues where they can meet other people.
t might be interesting if we could also furnish the flats at La Sambrienne before the users move in. I’m thinking of basic furniture such as a table, 2 chairs, a bed, a fridge and a cooker to meet their basic needs. This might make it easier for them to integrate into the accommodation and not have to worry about that. After that, it would be up to them to decide whether they wanted more furniture.
Organise “clinical case” interviews with the Madrid team to discuss the difficulties we each encounter with our users. On the last day of the course, we had the opportunity to talk about people suffering from Diogenes syndrome and the difficulties we face in supporting them. It would be interesting to explore other issues, such as substance abuse or mental health problems, in order to share advice and good practice.”
Irène Kremers from the Relais Social de Charleroi, Belgium, after an internship at Provivienda Madrid, Spain:
“As a doctor working in a Relais Santé, I mainly work with people on the street before they are rehoused.
I’ve been able to see how these people have blossomed, how they’ve settled into their new homes, how stable they’ve become, and how encouraging it is that they’re already worried about the future (the future exists again…).
Everything is still possible!”
Amélie Loisse from Relais Social de Charleroi, Belgium, after an internship at Provivienda Madrid, Spain:
“It was a great experience, rich in discoveries, and enabled us to make links with our reality in the field and in Madrid.”