Our Work

Emfasis is a nonprofit organization that relies solely on private donations to fund its programs.
Personalized Support and Empowerment programs are developed using the testimonies of the people we meet on the street and are designed to serve their existing needs.
The Emfasis Foundation creates and executes campaigns that have a direct positive impact on their human needs and living conditions.

StreetWork

  • Our approach is to "reach out" to those on the street, so that we make the first move to meet them in their environment while their own terms and conditions. This conveys our respect of their dignity, where we can take the initiative to offer them assistance before they are forced to request it.
  • We become a part of the communities where we work, learning its landscape whilst recording individual needs in a voluntary, confidential and neutral manner.
  • We remain available to those who need our support and wish to share with us their daily needs and struggles.
  • The Mobile Support Units report daily to the Emfasis' social service on their findings from day-to-day operations, highlighting the incidents that need immediate attention.

empowerment

2018 – today

The program aims to relieve, mobilize, and ultimately empower vulnerable groups on the street (homeless, unemployed, struggling elderly, stranded immigrants) as well as families below the poverty line.

The main “tools” of the program are its two Mobile Support Units. Operated by volunteers & streetworkers, they provide personalized material and psychosocial guidance. Following an initiative of the teams in the 2nd year of operation, the beneficiaries were given used mobile phones and other second-hand smart devices. They were also shown how to use them in order to improve their communication with Emfasis and their loved ones.

As a result, we have witnessed drastic improvement in the efficiency of case handling as well as a significant increase in the percentage of beneficiaries who have begun social reintegration.
More than 1,300 adults and children are being assisted annually by the program.

Supported by: The Hellenic Initiative Australia

2020 – today

This program aims to meet the needs of elderly people who are affected by the economic crisis, face severe financial problems or social exclusion, and are abandoned by their families, resulting in living alone, homeless or in a ‘street situation’.

In cooperation with Emfasis Foundation’s Mobile Support Units, free advisory and accompanying services are provided to seniors in need of medical care, psychological support, legal and other counseling/representation.
Supported by: TIMA

2021

The Program “Street Muse – Soul Unloose” was born in response to the desire of the beneficiaries to have a space where they could express themselves, have fun, and socialize.

This program includes special weekly activities, focusing primarily on music therapy and creative engagement, catering also to participants’ interests. The program takes place both in a group and individual setting, and on the street and in available indoor spaces. 

The main goals of the program is to provide relief to people who are in a state of homelessness, to facilitate their socialization and mobilization, and to cultivate a sense of identity and community.

2018 – 2019

A dedicated team exclusively serves senior citizens in the wider area of Piraeus.

This specialized team, consisting of a Social Worker, Legal Counselor and a Tax Specialist, provides the following services to homeless seniors:

  • Individualized support plan for health and financial matters
  • Reuniting with loved ones
  • Encouragement for a new “beginning” and the use of current technologies

Through respect and discretion, we aim to improve the quality of life of the elderly who are on the street. More than 289 elderly vulnerable people in street conditions are being supported annually.

Supported by: TIMA Charitable Foundation

2016 - 2017

This program aims to meet the needs of elderly people who are affected by the economic crisis, face severe financial problems or social exclusion, and are abandoned by their families, resulting in them living alone, homeless or in a ‘street situation’.

In cooperation with Emfasis Foundation Mobile Support Units, free advisory and accompanying services are provided to seniors in need of medical care, psychological support, legal and other counseling/ representation.

Supported by: TIMA Charitable Foundation

2015

The purpose of this program is the social reintegration into both the labor market and the wider society of ex-users of substances who are in programs of KETHEA, OKANA and 18 + Ano, as well as the Shedia homeless magazine vendors.

We believe that successful social reintegration is contingent upon the restored confidence of these individuals in participating in today’s society.

This groundbreaking and innovative program provides full dental restoration for these individuals, allowing us to eradicate the social stigma of the past and the opportunity for a fresh start.

Relief programs

2013 – today

Each year at Christmas and Easter, the two largest Support campaigns for vulnerable individuals and families take place.
Our trained volunteer teams perform specially designed shifts offering:

a) Survival items (sleeping bags, gloves, caps, socks, scarves, clothing)

b) Hot drinks and solidarity baskets (food items, festive sweets, and nutritious snacks)

c) Personal hygiene items

d) Emphasis’ psychosocial support & information leaflets

2020 – today

Intense weather phenomena such as extreme temperatures and heavy rainfall or snowfall create particularly precarious conditions for people with livelihood problems. The “We do not pass – we support” program was created as a targeted intervention to address the fundamental needs that arise in these cases for individuals and families living below the poverty line, in a state of street or impending homelessness.

Sponsor: Globe Insurance 

2020 - today

This initiative focuses on covering the temporary housing needs of the homeless population in the Attica basin with special health and mobility problems during the pandemic. The social service of the Emfasis Foundation conducts an evaluation of each case and taking into account the particularities of each served, provides the appropriate accommodation.

2013 - today

Every year during the Christmas season, the biggest campaign in support of the vulnerable population takes place. Our trained groups of volunteers perform specially designed shifts offering:

a) survival items (sleeping bag, gloves, hat, socks, scarf, clothing)

b) hot drinks and solidarity basket (food, holiday sweets and nutritious snacks)

c) personal hygiene items

d) psychosocial support & Emfasis leaflets

2013 – today

Each year at Christmas and Easter, the two largest Support campaigns for vulnerable individuals and families take place.
Our trained volunteer teams perform specially designed shifts offering:

a) Survival items (sleeping bags, gloves, caps, socks, scarves, clothing)

b) Hot drinks and solidarity baskets (food items, festive sweets and nutritious snacks)

c) Personal hygiene items

d) Emphasis’ psychosocial support & informational leaflets

2014 – today

In December 2014, Emfasis acquired the first Mobile Support Unit consisting of a van and accompanying social streetwork volunteers.

It operates in areas within and outside the city of Athens, addressing the needs of a wider range of vulnerable and socially-marginalized groups.

In June 2016, we acquired the second Mobile Support Unit, expanding the geographical coverage of vulnerable populations and providing a daily presence to those in need of support.

During severe weather conditions, such as low temperatures and snowfall, both mobile teams and social streetworkers volunteer during late night shifts, working into the early hours of the morning to relieve those affected by the adverse weather conditions.

2015 – 2016

The “Direct Intervention Program” is an innovative program aimed at the overall management of homeless individuals’ needs on the streets of Athens.
It consists of 3 parts:

(a) a special application, installed on smartphones by authorized and certified users, as selected by the Emfasis’ affiliate network. Users are able to send information from the street to the Emergency Management Center (EMC)

(b) The EMC evaluates the information and depending on the type of intervention, classifies it into one of three categories of control:

  • On-site intervention within a 24-hour period
  • On-site intervention within an 8-hour period
  • Emergency intervention, where the Mobile Support Units of the organization are immediately mobilized

c) Final and immediate intervention by Emfasis’ trained social streetworkers or Mobile Support Units depending on the nature of the need. Through the cooperation and coordination of our actions with other organizations, we are given the opportunity to:

  • Meet needs in more remote areas, outside of the Municipality of Athens
  • Avoid overlapping in the same areas

2013 – 2019

Emfasis’ team of social workers, sociologists, and psychologists provide the necessary support to vulnerable and socially excluded groups (homeless and destitute families) in the following areas:

  • Emfasis in Health: Provision of Emfasis health cards offering free medical exam packages to uninsured individuals (including men, women and children)
  • Information on Social Programs of Athens (e.g. Polyclinics, Care Centers, food offerings, shelters, organizations with rehabilitation programs etc.)
  • Information on free events with educational and entertaining content (e.g. seminars, plays, creative workshops for children etc.)
  • Advice on legal and employment matters, as well as administrative assistance (e.g. with social welfare benefits, identity re-issuance, tax registration, homelessness documentation, etc.)
  • Basic supplies such as food, clothing & footwear, toiletries, school, children’s school supplies, creative tools, survival kits (sleeping bags, clothing, caps, gloves and scarves), and house cleaning supplies.

This represents the first time that a private initiative has provided such services in the Greek capital for 6 consecutive years. An average of 50 beneficiaries and 12 families are supported annually so far.

2015 – 2016

As we constantly look for ways to respond to the needs of vulnerable social groups in an immediate and effective way, we are addressing everyday health needs and concerns, by providing free medical exam cards that include general, gynecological, and pediatric examinations, as well as an overall medical evaluations in the safe and dignified environment of a private clinic.

We also consider cases where urgent blood tests are needed in order to process applications for temporary accommodation, school enrollment, etc.

Emfasis health cards are targeted at the homeless without insurance coverage and are intended to support those who are denied access to health care.

2014 – 2015

The “Temporary Housing for Homeless Youth” program is an innovative endeavor aimed at homeless men or women who either live on the street or are in a “street situation” due to a lack of basic financial resources, lack of supportive family, psychological disorders, or substance abuse.

Emfasis, through this program, offers temporary residence to these community members, 1-2 times a week, in a central and accessible hotel in Athens. Our goal is:

  • To empower those who are facing adverse weather conditions (extreme temperatures, rain, snow) and to help them find refuge
  • To have the opportunity to take care of their personal hygiene to gain more confidence
  • To escape, albeit temporarily, from the bustle of busy city streets, to feel more safe, and to have a sense of personal space in which to relax, enjoy some basic amenities and indulge in their favorite distractions, e.g. listen to music, read a book, or watch TV.

special projects

2017-2020

Therapeutic Photography and Video Therapy Lab for Syrian Refugee Children in Open Hospitality Camps around Athens.

Professional photographers and filmmakers, recruited by Emfasis Foundation and assisted by its volunteers, train young refugees to express their emotions through photography and film making.

Supported by: GlobalGiving

2017 – today

The groundbreaking rogram “Become a Social Streetworker” is an initiative of the Emfasis Foundation. It aims at identifying and promoting positive role models through our volunteers, social streetworkers, whilst ensuring the continuity of their work with respect and dignity. Emfasis is made up 95% of volunteers who give their time daily. Over 140,000 hours of volunteer time have been logged so far, improving living conditions for over 3,000 vulnerable people. It implements its mission with 17 relief programs.

The Volunteer Support program enables us to resolve vital challenges related to:

  • Social issues such as youth unemployment: we provide professional training to social streetworkers with essential tools that may be needed in the competitive work field
  • Developing an environmental awareness: as often as possible, our volunteers move with public transportation even in bad weather conditions
  • Fighting against homelessness: reducing social shock by members of our society experiencing social exclusion
  • Mobilizing employees/colleagues: through active participation actions that promote positive thinking. Contact us at +302114066140 and [email protected] for more information. The team of corporate experts will guide you through the process.

2015 – today

Volunteering missions from overseas come to Greece, with personalized programs developed upon on an individualized basis.

2016 – today

As part of the social offering of the pioneering internship program, the Emfasis team welcomes Regeneration volunteers each year. Together we manage to accomplish the goals of our programs and share innovative ideas with young professionals.

2018

After the devastating fires of July 23, 2018, the Emfasis team was present in the affected areas since day one, assessing the immediate needs of fire victims by gathering personal testimonies.

With experience in attending to populations in street conditions, teams of Emfasis’ trained streetworkers provided immediate help, psychological and counseling support. Emfasis’ main concern is to help all members of society stand on their own feet, in order to take the steps needed to improve their living conditions and take care of their loved ones.

Supported by: GlobalGiving

2017 - 2018

Implemented by the Adult & Youth Volunteer Support Association, Entos/Ektos, in collaboration with Emfasis Foundation, this project was designed to contribute to enhancing the effectiveness of partner NGOs, to increase efficiency in preventing social victimization, and to promote the protection of the rights of children experiencing street conditions (street connected children and other vulnerable children at risk) in areas of high intensity; such as the central urban zones of Thessaloniki and Athens.

The aim of the cooperation was to exchange knowledge and know-how in the respective fields of expertise of each organization, within the context of protecting the rights of vulnerable child populations.

Through the implementation of the program, the organizations increased their efficiency and developed skills for approaching and supporting children at-risk in street conditions.

Funded by: Points of Support, Hellenic Hope Foundation

2013 – today

Emfasis prioritizes the recruitment and employment of unemployed youth in the field of humanities and social sciences to cover its human resources needs. So far, our organization has hired 33 new field professionals who were previously unemployed.

2013 – today

Emfasis’ volunteer training programs:

  • Professional mentoring
  • Advisory services
  • Skills development seminars for recent university graduates

2016 - 2017

Weekly groups of Emfasis’ psychologists, social workers and volunteers, working with children from 4-14 years old, to encourage their creative development

2015 – 2017

Participation of volunteers and supporters in the Athens Half – Marathon and the Full Marathon, in order to spread the organization’s work in support of the homeless population of Athens

2016 - 2017

Funding the recruitment of two of Emfasis Foundation’s executives in the positions of Relief Coordinator and Mobile Support Unit leader to ensure the effective operation of the organization

2016

Funding the recruitment of an Emfasis Foundation Partnership and Volunteer Management executive, in order to strengthen the sustainability of the organization

2016

Emfasis’ training visit to Norway for the exchange of practices and technology to tackle homelessness and the reintegration of socially excluded groups.

The EEA grants represent the contribution of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway to reducing economic and social disparities and to strengthening bilateral relations with 15 EU countries in Central and Southern Europe and the Baltics. The Bodossaki Foundation has acted as the fund operator of the EEA Grants Greek NGO program “We Are All Citizens”.

During the program implementation phase, emphasis has been given to reducing social inequality, poverty and social exclusion, the protection of human rights, including the rights of minorities, on the capacity building of NGOs, and to the promotion of democracy, transparency and good governance.

2017 - 2018

Three missions to the United Kingdom, Greece and Slovenia were organized with the participation of YMCA North Tyneside, Mládež ulice, YMCA Slovakia, taking place within the Erasmus + “Youth Mobility” Program. It included streetwork workshops, educational excursions, and sporting activities, involving vulnerable young people from abroad and young Emfasis streetworkers in order to share new ideas and gain experience.