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.

© Pierre Lecrenier

She totally cuts off our contacts with all ensuing difficulties, such as delays in everything that needs be done, socially, administratively, medically…

During such silent phases, we don’t give up; we keep calling her on the phone or at home to make her understand that we’re always there for her - and suddenly she decides to call back. During that phone call, I give her some information.

On one item she reacts in a way that makes us laugh - and leaves us both in stitches for several minutes, uncontrollably.

Shortly afterwards, we could see Ms. J. again at her home.

I cannot swear that our joint laughing fit was the reason why she opened her door again for us, but it must have helped a bit, I think.

Humor, well applied and respectful to all, is always a valuable tool, both in our daily work and in general, to bring people closer together, even if their life’s experience is sometimes very different.

- David, nurse in the housing section

Without you, there's no us

(*) 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.