A few months ago, I started working for the Street Nurses NGO and it was then that I made the acquaintance of Mr. Q. Our field teams had accompanied him and provided him with a home.

He was born in Brussels at the beginning of the sixties. After a burn-out and a period of severe isolation, he lived on the street for several years.

Despite having a home to live in, his health is visibly deteriorating.

In addition, he struggles to keep his home in order, which gets run down rather quickly.

Picture © Pierre-Yves Jortay

As a consequence, unavoidably, he was going to lose his home. He was left with no other possibility than to go temporarily to a care home.

He finds it difficult to accept not to be able to live by himself anymore – especially as someone who was a keen cyclist and walker, photographer of nature and who would love to go and watch a match between Anderlecht and Union-Sint Gillis. We’re touched by the emotion on his face.

We reassure him: he can realise his dreams, even in a care home.

In the end, he quickly discards objections from his mind: “I’ll manage somehow; I’ll overcome this ordeal as I did many in the past”.

So, now we are looking for the ideal care home for him. A place where he’ll be free to listen to his music, to go out, and where he’ll have time to look after his plants in green surroundings. A place where the medical team will support him without judgment. We’re optimistic.

Not being able to live by oneself, often precipitated by the sequels of street life, is a reality which hits many of our patients.

But we’ll always be there to look after their well-being and to find the most suitable solutions for their accommodation.


(*) We do our utmost to respect the privacy of our patients and our professional secrecy. However, we want to testify to how they must survive and how we are working together to reintegrate them. As a result, the names of places and people are deliberately omitted or changed and real-life situations are placed in a different context. There is no direct link between the photos and the stories above.