Bratislava launches pilot project to combat homelessness

Bratislava launches pilot project to combat homelessness

It is one of the first cities in Slovakia to employ an approach combining affordable housing with social counselling

Local authorities in the Slovak capital of Bratislava have reached a unanimous decision for the launch of a pilot project aimed at combating homelessness in the urban area. Through this new initiative, Bratislava is set to become one of the first cities in Slovakia to combine affordable housing with intensive social counselling with the goal of quickly rehabilitating homeless individuals and getting them back on their feet.

A novel approach to combat an ever-present issue

On top of granting homeless citizens an affordable housing, the new pilot project will also focus on their general stability through social care. Social care workers will work alongside the selected individuals in order to create a general approach that would allow them to stabilize their health and housing situations, as well as their incomes.

“This is a unique moment in the approach of the city of Bratislava in the topic of helping people who have lost their homes. All the more so in the times after the first wave of COVID19, when there is a risk that more and more people will be on the streets for economic reasons, ” stated Sergej Kára, Bratislava's deputy mayor for homeless people and social housing.

The so-called “housing first” approach aims to tackle the problem of homelessness from two separate directions. By providing affordable housing to struggling families and individuals, they will have the opportunity to get back on their feet and work towards improving their situation in life.

As part of the pilot project, the city of Bratislava will renovate a total of 22 currently uninhabited apartments. In terms of who will be the first ones to take part in the initiative, that will be up to an expert commission to decide based on a number of factors, including threat levels and degree of social dependence.

It is the hope of Bratislava officials that, should the approach be deemed a success on the local level, it will also become part of a nation-wide plan to tackle homelessness in a superior way.



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