The Affiliation project was born in 2020. This cross-cutting project for the five Housing First projects in Brussels (Antonin Artaud CSM, Diogenes vzw, Straatverplegers, Samusocial Brussel and Smes) serves the tenants supported within each of these programmes to address the problems of loneliness and lack of well-being experienced by these people.
Social bonds as a safety net
Homelessness is not just a housing issue, but is the result of a series of social ruptures that leave a person without a safety net to cope with life's dangers.
To get out of this situation, a reverse process must be initiated: the creation of bonds and networks of relationships. This is the purpose of the Affiliation Project.
Going beyond "traditional" support
Every month, a Tenants' Council is organised to which all Housing First tenants in Brussels are invited. During this participatory meeting, different group activities are chosen, ideas are collected and collective projects are developed.
An exhibition, a book and a short film were produced and excursions and cultural trips were organised. In addition to these collective activities, 20 people are followed individually in their personal projects: repainting the flat in a cheerful colour, reconnecting with a mother, a son, making a portfolio to present themselves for castings as extras, sharing one's own vision of the world by writing articles for the Affiliation newspaper, regaining one's appetite by cooking tasty dishes, finding an education, volunteering, etc. These are projects that fall outside the scope of the “classic” Housing First support, but which form the basis for the (re)creation of social bonds and networks of relationships.
A joint project of the Brussels Housing First sector
The Affiliation Project, which was hosted by SMES for an 18-month pilot phase, was discontinued at the end of 2021.
New subsidies allowed it to be extended and it is now hosted by the non-profit organisation Street Nurses.
Today, three staff members form the new transversal team for the Housing First projects in the Brussels-Capital Region. As of March 2022, the project will continue its work within Street Nurses. We are committed to strengthening the recovery of tenants in Housing First projects in our capital city. To this end, we are convinced of the added value of our transversal and complementary practices, and of the joint construction of a common future for Housing First projects in Brussels.
- Isabella, Housing First Affiliation Project