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.

© Pierre Lecrenier

Our relationship with Mrs V. remains shaky and clashes are sometimes unavoidable. As evidenced by the moments of great tension we experienced during the past years. When she lived on her own, her health sometimes deteriorated so much that our team really feared for her life.

Living alone no longer seemed to be a solution for her. We therefore followed her closely several times in rest homes - but even that did not turn out well for her.

She ended up on the street again, but finally we decided together that it was time to try again with individual housing. For those of us who knew her when things went wrong in her last home, the return to a flat is a cause of great concern.

Nevertheless, we all agree that we should try again, with intensive support, especially with frequent help at home. With the risk that we (and they) might be wrong - but after all, the rule for Housing First is: keep trying, give it your all!

Mrs. V. has been off the drink for a few months now and takes really good care of herself.

Over time I have been able to forge a close bond with her. We know each other well and talk about the music we listen to, the books we read, today's society. We both have clear views on all sorts of issues and regularly exchange our knowledge and opinions on subjects such as feminism, demonstrations, migration, philosophy, drugs, etc.

We sometimes disagree and that's a good thing. We sometimes disagree and this leads to heated discussions. Sometimes I get e-mails from her explaining what participatory democracy means. Then I know what we will talk about next time. Some mails contain only one or two songs from her favourite rock bands, urging me to expand my musical culture.

Next week, Ms V. will move back into a home on her own where she will be followed by other colleagues from the housing department.

All the best to you, carry on, Mrs V.!


Housing and support go hand in hand to end homelessness. This is what Street Nurse is working on intensively.

Support us so that we can continue our work.

(*) We make every effort to respect the privacy of our patients and our professional secrecy. Nevertheless, we want to bear witness to how they have to survive and how we work together to reintegrate them. Therefore, the names of places and people are deliberately omitted or changed and real-life situations are placed in another context.