Mr. H won’t be discouraged by the failing system
Seeing what Mr. H has to go through, we realise that much needs to be improved to allow these people, who we meet every day, quickly to leave street life behind.
On the street: the experience of an accompanying volunteer nurse
As a voluntary nurse, I sometimes have, through the work of Street Nurses, interesting meetings with people who live there.
Hope makes you go on
I hadn’t seen Mr. J. for a long time.
As his contact person for more than a year, I had ample opportunity to meet him, get to know him and accompany him in his good, and sometimes not so good, moments.
He is still standing, where others would have given up long ago
Last week, Mr. E. was told he had throat cancer. But faced with the news, he remained stoic. It takes more to upset him after having lived on the street for twenty years and having experienced about everything under the sun.
In the end, we are all masters of our own lives
Mr. B's story shows how we can accompany people in their vulnerability by getting used to their situation, knowing that precariousness in a such a life is unavoidable – and that they already travelled a very long road.
Providing Mrs B with a place to stay - quite an adventure!
We met Mrs. B in 2019 on the street where she had been living already for several years. She had developed her little habits in her neigbourhood and, for instance, often visited the supermarket around the corner to freshen up and use the facilities.
when you suddenly disappear
One aspect of my work that I find really hard to cope with are the deaths. When one of our patients leaves us, we must close their file and continue with the other patients. That’s a difficult phase - but that’s how it is in practical reality. How to process the resulting frustrations and questions is not something you learn at school.
A dream, sadly not realized
Ah, Paris! The city of his dreams! He had been there before when he was younger. He thought it was also warmer there!
Celebrating New Year’s Eve: that was his dream. So, we threw ourselves into realizing that project for him. Travel by train or by bus? Reserve which hotel? Street Nurses became a real travel agency!
A society of appearances
In our society outward appearance matters a lot. Emotions should remain under control, women must be protected, and men are not supposed to cry. Such norms also apply in our professions, dealing with injustice, despair, precariousness, sickness, and exclusion.
He is safe, sheltered. And above all ... He is free!
His moustache is trimmed. His hair is combed back. He has a big smile on his lips. He greets me. I raise my head and meet his gaze. His big green eyes take me straight back to our last meeting.
Mrs. T., you did well to hold out!
We have accompanied Mrs. T., 54 years old, from 2018 after a friendly citizen pointed her out to us.
Several organisations accompanied her in the street simultaneously. But the links became ever more complicated and collapsed in the end. That was part of her strategies to adapt to her new life on the street…
Small steps can go a long way
Today I’d like to share a hopeful life story with you. It’s about V, a man in his forties. People knew him well in his Brussels neighbourhood. He had been living there on the street for years, but neighbours and shopkeepers already knew him from before; some even went to school with him. “He doesn’t want a home. He wants to stay on the street”, we were told.