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.
We’ll always remember you fondly
A little thought for Mr Z., whose death we recently found out.
In our accompaniment of housed patients, we often see tensions around available money. To stay in their homes, they must pay the rent and avoid cumulating bills.
Love in action
A few months ago, I asked Street Nurses to confront me with the reality of their street work. As a volunteer, I know about it indirectly, especially through the articles “Slice of life”. Impressive, even moving. Definitely. But I realized that the experience in the field could be much more poignant.
From the street to a home of her own: dreams are allowed
Mrs. T is seated on the steps of a Brussels tube station. As usual, she wears a headscarf and a flowered dress. When we invite her, she accepts our invitation, sometimes with a broad smile on her smooth and tired face, to get out of her daily routine for a moment, far from the traffic noise and the passers-by who brush past her mercilessly.
I am not this body, I hate it.
This is the story of a man, accompanied by the “My Way” team of Street Nurses. It is a moving, even shocking, story. But thankfully, it ends on a positive note.
If I were to speak to myself as a child, I would say: “Good luck!” My strongest wish? That most people suffering from muscular rheumatism (polymyalgia rheumatica) could work as they want.
A brilliant idea
My first meeting with you, Mr.
Mrs. J.'s big heart
Mrs J., we met 11 years ago. After three years in the street being followed up by Street Nurses, you were one of the first people to join the Housing First programme.
“To make you laugh”
Arcadia! No, not the mythological land where happy shepherds play the flute and live off love and fresh air. It’s the name of a retirement home where the “My Way” team pays a visit to see how Mr. M. is doing.
A guardian angel, disguised as a shop keeper
One morning we set out to look for Mr. M. He’s mentally limited and lives on the street. He moves about a lot and finding him is always a challenge.
First, we search in the huge parking lot of a shopping center, then in the center itself and finally in the surroundings: gloomy viaducts, remains of camping spots, old shopping carts full of rubbish. But no trace of Mr. M.
Not half bad, Mrs. A’s dream
When we join her today, Mrs. A hides her face in her hands. She groans, she weeps. An icy wind hits the courtyard where we’re sitting and makes the atmosphere even more desolate. Nobody can escape suffering. I know. As a social assistant, as someone who wants to relieve misery in all its forms. I empathise with her suffering, each time she looks at me with swollen eyes.