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Sheltered housing for foreigners – Mieszkania chronione dla cudzoziemców (Unofficial translation)

Geographic Area

Poland

LRA Sheet

Lublin

City

Lublin

Language

English

Type of Information

Case studies

Organisation

Miejski Ośrodek Pomocy Rodzinie w Lublinie - Municipal Family Support Centre in Lublin

Contact Person

Monika Budka (Login to send email)

Contact Person Function

Chief specialist in social work with foreigners

Project Start

01/06/2009

Ongoing Project

No

Summary

Sheltered housing is a form of social assistance aimed at preparing foreigners in particularly difficult situations for independent life and integration with the local community. The City Hall of Lublin provides three sheltered flats for foreigners, run by the Municipal Family Support Centre in Lublin. Immigrants living in sheltered flats have the right to support in, among others, the area of: Polish language learning, handling matters in institutions and offices, legal counseling, contacts with the local community, health care and employment. Sheltered housing tenants are supported by a family assistant whose task is to provide support in a form of social work tailored to their individual needs. The total period of stay in the sheltered flat should not exceed 24 months.

Issue/Challenge and Goal/Assumption

Sheltered housing is a form of social assistance aimed at preparing foreigners in particularly difficult situations for independent life and integration with the local community. Sheltered housing is more than a roof over a head. It gives a sense of security, allows foreigners to focus on searching for a job, education of children, health, etc. It also helps them to learn how to run an independent life, how to budget money, etc. The need to organise sheltered housing for forced immigrants in Lublin arose in 2008 together with granting foreigners benefiting from subsidiary protection the right to integration assistance which resulted in a significant increase in the demand for this type of assistance.

How does it work

The City Hall of Lublin provides three sheltered flats for foreigners, run by the Municipal Family Support Centre in Lublin. These flats can be occupied by at least four families. Foreigners living in sheltered flats have the right to support in the area of: Polish language learning, handling matters in institutions and offices, legal counseling, contacts with the local community, health care and employment. Sheltered housing tenants are supported by a family assistant whose task is to provide support in a form of social work tailored to their individual needs and to build a positive perception of foreigners in the local community and in the neighborhood. The total period of stay in the sheltered flat should not exceed 24 months.

Results

In 2013, 7 families (24 persons) benefited from sheltered housing in Lublin.

Evaluation

Two forms of evaluation: -

  • surveys conducted among residents of sheltered flats: first - survey on their expectations, then - survey on their satisfaction (the three top-rated forms of assistance: accommodation, vocational trainings, education of children).
  •  internal evaluation – indicators: how many foreigners do not benefit from social assistance after leaving the sheltered housing, how many of them are active even if they still benefit from social assistance. The most difficult element in social work with foreigners living in sheltered flats is to help them adjust their expectations to the Polish reality and to prepare them to run an independent life without relying on help from the state or from the NGOs.

Who will benefit?

Foreigners benefiting from international protection in Lublin (granted refugee status or subsidiary protection) provided that they have integration problems, are in a difficult life situation, intend to settle in Lublin and show commitment to solving their life problems.

Source of funding and Resources used

The project is co-financed by the City Hall of Lublin (paying the utility bills) and by the European Refugee Fund (integration assistance for beneficiaries of sheltered housing). Foreigners whose income is higher than income entitling to social assistance participate in paying the utility bills.

Resources used: three flats provided by the City Hall of Lublin, furnishings provided by the City Hall of Lublin, institutional sponsors and private donors. Workers needed: a coordinator of the project, a family assistant, volunteers. Annual cost of sheltered housing (three flats) for foreigners: 36,660 PLN (around 9,000 EUR). This form of accommodation is cheaper than other forms of colective accommodation for single mothers, homeless people, etc.