In the Republic of Croatia, a particularly vulnerable subgroup of marginalized people consists of the homeless, and in a special way the absolute homeless (of which, according to the data of the Croatian Network for the Homeless in Croatia, there are about 2,000) who, due to an extremely unfavorable financial situation, live in inadequate housing and without guaranteed health and safety standards (which it belongs to the extended definition of homelessness, and there are about 10,000 of them in Croatia). In addition to the problem of homelessness itself, as the end product of living in difficult circumstances, a significant problem is also the growing number of people who live at risk of poverty, and thus a significant part of homelessness. In that group, a large share is occupied by elderly people, and the problem is insufficient capacity for housing elderly people, especially those with low incomes. Circumstances of life that represent risk factors for homelessness include older age and low income and long-term unemployment, low level of education, addictions, impaired physical and mental health, weak social network, serving a prison sentence, etc. The growing number of homeless people and people at risk from long-term poverty, which is largely made up of elderly people, encouraged Depaul Croatia to undertake specific activities in the area of the city of Rijeka. A significant focus is the organization of a full-day stay as well as the development of a home help service. The goal of these activities is to provide the homeless, as well as elderly people at risk of homelessness, with appropriate help and support, and in addition, investing in the capacities of experts who work with the target group.
Association Depaul Croatia
The project aims to improve the residence service, which includes the following activities: specialized counseling center – psychosocial assistance, group psychotherapy and sociotherapy. In the all-day stay area, users will be able to participate in the offered content and resocialize with various activities that include horticultural therapy. Beneficiaries will receive help in adjusting their social status, which is why a social worker will be included in the project activities and will be available to beneficiaries in the day center and in the field. A particular focus of the project is systematic work with elderly people who are also users of day center services, and who live in demanding existential conditions and cannot independently meet their basic needs and are at risk of homelessness. The key project activity related to this group is (in addition to the specialized activities organized in the day center) help in the house, which includes the preparation and delivery of meals, ensuring the basic needs of personal hygiene and hygiene of the living space. For the purposes of the above, one person will be trained to perform the tasks of caregivers and meal delivery tasks. A mobile team is provided for work outside the field: driver, carer, psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker, nurse. Team members will also participate in the activities planned in the day center.
The project envisages training for experts who work directly with beneficiaries – homeless people and elderly people at risk of homelessness.
City of Rijeka and Home for the Elderly Volosko
December 2021 – December 2023
Larisa Mandic, +385 51 672 933