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Graduated Plan of the City of Vienna for the Reintegration of Homeless
Austria

Keyword: Homelessness & Housing


Background

The "Graduated Plan of the City of Vienna for the Reintegration of Homeless Persons" includes the following measures:

- Temporary emergency shelters (hostels without permanent professional assistance by qualified social workers);
- Socio-therapeutic residential home;
- "Assisted living" (Working Group "Citizens in Distress", etc.);
- final flats (affordable flats, individual assistance can be provided by local authorities);
- Preventive measures to avoid the loss of one's home.


Narrative

In 1989, some 1,500 places were available for approx. 5,000 homeless persons in temporary shelters at several sites in Vienna (mainly during the winter months).

The main problems about these temporary shelters were:
* no continous professionalcounselling by social workers;
*insufficient contact with the homeless persons in order to tackle their problems with a view to their reintegration;
*protests by the resitants in the neighbourhood of the shelters.
Additionally, we had to note that more and more women and their children as well as persons with regular jobs became homeless, which was paralleled by an increase of problems such as alcool and drug abuse, etc.

OBJECTIVES AND STRATEGIES

The "Graduated Plan of the City of Vienna for Reintegration of Homeless Persons" focuses on the following objectives and strategies:
- Prevention of homelessness by all possible means;
- High quality of assistance and accommodation for those currently or potentially facing homelessness;
- Cooperation with all committed associations;
- Assistance in finding employment (e.g. job schemes);
- Offering medical care;
- Scientific analysis and basic research;
- Public awareness campaigns;
- Laying down the aid offert in laws.

DESCRIPTION OF THE MODEL PROJECT AND ITS RESULTS

The basic principles ot the project are
* the gradual integration of homeless persons into society and
* the cooperation and networking of public and private facilities.

Brief description of the essential elements of the project:
A) Socio - therapeutic residential home for the homeless persons
This facility was set up by the Social Welfare Department in 1989.
It aims at preparing homeless persons (men, women, families) for their reintegration and for life in their own homes (achieving the abiltity of the occupants to live on their own) by means of sociotherapeutic counselling (social workers).
This home provides apace and counselling for 270 persons and 15 units as well as for 8 families.
The next step is to set up the former homeless persons in "final flast" (approx. 85% city - owned flats, 15% private flats.
Follow-up services are provided, if necessary, by the local field agency of the Social Welfare Department or by the Working Group "Citizens in Distress".

B) "Assisted living" by the Working Group "Citizens in Distress"
The members of the Working Group are :
Caritas, Volkshilfe Vienna, Salvation Army, ARGE Nichtse haftenhilfe, WOBES, Vincent Community Mariahilf, VBSA, Wiener Hilfswerk, "Ganslwirt"
This Working Group which founded in 1989, organizes and provides flats with unlimited master leases for former homeless persons. Thus, it is active approximately on the same level as the residential home described above.
The City of Vienna provides funds to the associations for the acquisition, adaption and furnishing of flats, as well as for the operational costs. The flts are integrated into normal house communities in a decentralized way. The counselling provided includes also assistance in finding jobs, in case of financial problems, in dealing with authorities and institutions, in finding a final flat etc.
City-owned flats are mainly used as final flats as these ensure affordable social rents.

Current achievements in brief:
* Since 1989 1,000 homes have been occupied by former homeless persons as final flats. Only 3% relapsed into homelessness.
* Due to close coopreration between the City of Vienna and private associations the funds available were used with considerably higher efficiency.
* The concomitant evaluation documents the development of the graduated plan so that conclusions can be drawn for potential impovements.


Impact

5000 homeless peoples in Vienna
2820 places (2250 in temporary shelters and 570 places of the programm "Assisted living"
(End of 1995, task to 1998: 1000 places)
Since 1989 , 1000 homes have been occupied by former homeless peoples as formal flats.


Indicators

1. Providing homelessness

2. Reintegration of homeless by "assisted living"

3. Minor rates of new homelessness


Contact

    ARGE "Citizens in Distress"
    Schmerlingplatz 2
    Vienna
    Austria
    A - 1010
    +43/1/408-32-32

Sponsor

    City of Vienna
    Social Welfare Department
    Schottenring 24
    Vienna
    Austria
    A - 1010
    +43/1/531-14/85-211

Partners

    ARGE (Working Group) "Citizens in Distress"
    Walter Kiss/ ARGE Wohnpl·tze
    Schmerlingplatz 2
    Vienna
    Austria
    A - 1010
    +43/1/408-32-32

    Walter Kiss
    Schmerlingplatz 2
    Vienna
    Austria
    A - 1010
    +43/1/408-32-32


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