In my function as a social worker, I must of course focus on the social and administrative follow-up of our patients - but that’s not all. These people have a very tough life, but they also have a lot of resources and strength which they’re often no longer aware of.
Mr D is seventy. He has lived in Belgium since the sixties where he got several degrees and worked in different sectors - but always in the black. In fact, he has no papers.
Luc: "I'm home"
Luc lived on the streets for 7 years. Together, we managed to get him out and find a place to live, in which he stayed for 5 years, before, unfortunatly, passing away in the summer of 2020. Discover his moving testimony.
One day, the conditions came together for you to integrate an accommodation and to leave the emergency shelter in which you had been sleeping for about ten years. Three times we came to pick you up and take you to your new home. Three times, you refused to follow us. You said you were too tired or had a stomach ache.
The reality of field work
A few weeks ago, we met M.R. He was referred to us by another non-profit organization with whom we collaborate. M.R. lived on the streets for 7 years and has now been in a shelter for several months, after having been hospitalized.
A problem under control
A short time ago we looked up one of our street patients, a man who does not realize how seriously ill he is. On his back he had an enormous growth. His shirt stuck to his skin and to his oozing wound.
The importance of a personal bond
What touches and enriches me most as a social worker are moments of quiet togetherness. Of course, we must achieve our objectives, respect appointments, etc., but I prefer those moments when “nothing” happens between me and the patient.
Against all odds
This is the story of a patient I met during my first inspection round with Street Nurses. Mr. L. lives on the street. He misses a leg that had to be amputated in his country of origin after wrong medical treatment. He has a strong, friendly personality and is well liked by people around him.
A bubble of normality
What we experienced together was no more than a moment, just like that, gathered round a table. It was both nothing and everything. A moment that was strangely normal while we were sitting there, each on our own chair.
In her own home for good?
Mrs V. is currently staying in a shelter. Before that, her journey went through all imaginable highs and lows: from rest homes to hospitals, from living on the streets to shelters, and vice-versa - until finally, after several years, she was able to move back into her own home.
Humor, a valuable tool
For quite some time now we’ve accompanied Ms. J., first when she still lived on the street and now in her own home. Although socially inclined, she also got us used to periods of complete silence. In such moments there is no point in even trying to see her.
A new man
Mister M. is someone with a lot of qualities – but far too often ignored or underestimated by the people around him. Just dig a bit deeper and you’ll find a smart and determined Mister M.