At Emfasis Non-Profit we operate in alignment with the principles of Social Streetwork, an internationally recognized methodology of social support. In particular, we implement Field Shifts, reaching out to people living on the street or in precarious/insufficient housing conditions.
Our primary goal is to ensure for our most vulnerable citizens access to the fundamental rights of housing, health and work. By giving them the opportunity to define for themselves the kind of support they need, we foster a relationship based on mutual respect & trust. In this way, we create the necessary conditions so that they can regain control of their lives.
By conducting Field Shift, we do not expect people in need of support to seek out for us. We take the initiative to meet them in their surroundings, respecting of their own terms and conditions.
We ask questions, giving each person the opportunity to assess and express their own need. This is the first step in building our communication on an equal and consensual basis.
We seamlessly integrate into their community while discreetly and impartially documenting individual needs.
We communicate and visit our beneficiaries regularly. For us, consistency is a prerequisite to build a relationship of mutual trust.
Our Streetworkers submit daily reports to Emfasis' Social Service, sharing the outcomes of their daily actions and flagging any incidents requiring immediate attention.
"Going out on shift" in this context means that both the Core Team of working people and the trained Volunteer Corps carry out Field Shifts on a daily basis. This practically means that walking through the streets of the city, while accompanied by the 2 Mobile Support Units, we reach out for people living in visible or invisible homelessness.
At each Shift we follow a predetermined route, and afterwards daily reports are compiled to record and evaluate our interactions and observations.
The type of the Shift we implement varies, depending on the purpose they fulfil each time.
In Streetwork Shifts, the primary objective is to reach people living on the street or in a "street situation". Through direct communication & interaction our Streetworkers are able to document individual needs (e.g. food, facilitation of bureaucratic procedures, medical care etc.). Emfasis Social Service professionals then assess the current requests & identify next steps to meet them.
In Mapping Shifts, the Streetwork Team do not directly approach people in need, but instead identifies and records findings or incidents related to homelessness in the selected area. Afterwards, they update Emfasis Social Service with their collected data and if it is considered to be of importance, the area is included in the next Streetwork Shift.
In Emergency Shifts, the primary objective is to urgently relieve people affected by extreme weather events through the continuous distribution of essential survival items (e.g. sleeping bags, blankets, electrolytes). At the same time, accurate information on accessible shelters and the relevant public services is provided.
In the Field Shifts of Psychosocial Counselling the Emfasis Social Service conducts individualized meetings with the beneficiaries. Regular monitoring of the progress of each case ensures prompt and consistent support.
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