Arrels’ Open Centre is located in El Raval, in downtown Barcelona. It is open every afternoon and evening, and attends to a daily average of 92 people. It is a free space where people can find a welcoming and friendly atmosphere in which to interact with others, and a series of services to help them improve their living conditions such as showers, cloakroom and storage facilities, pharmacy, etc.
Pere Barnes Home
The Pere Barnés Home, inaugurated on 29th November 2007, is a facility created in order to provide solutions to the lack of mid and long term residential places for people in chronic homelessness. This is one of the oldest and most needed projects of the foundation, and it is currently operating within a network formed by other private and public organizations.
In 2011, the Street Team had contact with 414. Composed of 18 volunteers and 1 social workers the team explores several areas of the city to initiate contact with people who are homeless. Many of these people suffer from severe mental and physical health problems, and the effects of a harmful long-term life on the streets. This requires members of the Street Team to be knowledgeable of the multiple resources available to Arrels and other organizations in the city, as well as being able to face a variety of situations and circumstances.
In 2001 we created “La Troballa”, the occupational workshop of Arrels to host those people who were frail and/or at greater risk. It is a space aimed at helping individuals restructure their lives, to enable them to use their spare time effectively and to regain and develop personal and social skills by getting involved in craft activities.
Homeless people usually suffer from severe health problems, worsened by the poor living conditions experienced on the streets and the lack of medical attention they receive.
When service users of Arrels become 65 years old they become eligible for access to a residence for older people, which for some is a frightening prospect. The Residence Programme, formed by a social worker and 6 volunteers, looks out for them so that they do not feel alone and endeavours to sustain the links they have with Arrels. The team visits people on a regular basis and tries to meet their individual needs.
To provide accommodation and food of the people we attend is one of the main tasks undertaken by the organisation. Arrels has different accommodation options tailored to each step of rehabilitation. On the one hand, it coordinates the stay in hostels, which is one of the most effective resources in the first stage of personal recovery, and on the other it provides stable accommodation with 19 flats for people with varying degrees of autonomy and supervision, according to different personal circumstances.
One of the most important things in our awareness campaigns is to explain to young people the problems that homeless people have. We have specifically developed a presentation addressed to students in their last year of primary school, ESO students, high school students, etc. We think that they are a key element in our society, and we believe that all the efforts we can make are not enough to try to educate these future adults.
This programme aims to inform institutions and the general public about the phenomenon of social exclusion and to encourage the development of a public opinion which is aware of, and sympathetic with, the problem of homelessness and supportive of initiatives and measures aimed at tackling exclusion. We pursue this goal by collaborating with the media, giving talks to various audiences, and participating in research leading to reports and studies.
Relationship with Companies
In the last few years, we have witnessed an increase in the social awareness and responsibility of businesses in our country towards the activities of non-profit organisations. It is becoming increasingly important for businesses to act responsibly towards their environment, since their constituents (customers, workers, providers, etc.) understand that the values of enterprise exist beyond mere economic considerations, and must be informed by the communities in which they operate.