Housing First


With our Housing First style projects (Tsemberis & al. 2004) our primary goals are to give the homeless access to housing and help him/her stay in a home. We believe that those goals are not only possible but also desirable for the homeless person who is a social outcast, has mental issues, is dependent on drugs or alcohol, suffers from physical ailments.

To work towards this goal, we have chosen the most efficient way for keeping even the most difficult cases of homeless persons in their home, and to make their overall life better.

Housing is for one person and low-rent. The person can move in directly from the street or from the emergency services without any pre-conditions (treatment or abstinence), the contract is normal (no time limit) and the available apartments are dispersed over the city.

The person will only be evicted if the rules of renting the home are not followed.

The support granted the person can be intensive, is mobile and personalized. It will last as long as it is needed (even if the person has been evicted). Psycho-medico-social help is given separately from the housing support.

We consider housing as the base for restoring the homeless as a person. They are given the means to learn to live in their own home, from their own home, with the help of a multi-faceted team.

How does it work?

The non-profit Infirmiers de rue and the SMES-B are the two operators for project Housing First Brussels.

Each operator puts homeless persons back in housing, directly from the street, and follows these persons with a multidisciplinary team. Those homeless persons have difficulties accessing housing because they have multiple social, mental and physical issues, as well as dependency issues.

The support is global, mobile, potentially intensive and tailored to each individual. Here is a timeline:

 Infirmiers de rue suggests a side approach and sends known people of partnering associations. Infirmiers de rue uses vulnerability criteria to choose which homeless people will be supported by the association. This opens the door for the homeless person to be granted housing by Housing First as soon as one is available.

Before being granted housing, the homeless persons have to be legal residents and agree to pay their rent.

 How can you help?

 There are two ways you can help us fulfill our role.

1)     Offer housing

We are looking for private owners as well as associations/town governments/social services who would have apartments or studios that could be rented to our beneficiaries.

With our project Housing First we offer homeless people direct access to housing and the possibility of reconstructing their lives with the support of a multidisciplinary team. And it works! People who were homeless recover their self-esteem and learn to reintegrate society step by step.

We have very positive results: 96 pc of rents are paid on time and 92 pc of residents stay in their new home. We take all neighborhood problems seriously and strive vigorously to resolve them.

2)     Make a donation

We would not be able to do our work and realize our goals without your financial help. Your generous gift helps us help the homeless start a new life in a new home they can call their own.