When someone stops living on the street needs to take their time and give meaning to it. A lot of people that sleep on the street have worked before, some of them work in the informal economy and others have a common job but their incomes are very low and are not able to pay for housing.
There are also people that won’t be able to come back to work because living on the street damages health. They even won’t be able to be self-supporting, but they will be able to do useful things to recover abilities and improve their self-esteem.
With a simple metal piece designed by Curro Claret, wood that is gathered from the street and the desire of create, some homeless people build, since 2010, stools, lamps and other hand made furniture.
Making earrings, a tote bag or an agenda has the triple of value for Arrels: recovering personal and social abilities, creating useful objects for other people so the effort turns into a resource to make possible #nobodysleepingonthestreet.
More and more people that have lived on the street offer themselves to lend a hand at the entity. Some are messengers, others organize the wardrobe or bring clean clothes to people we know and are detained. There are also people that collaborate painting and making small repairs at Arrels’ flats, while others help with daily tasks at the open centre, at the llar or give support to roommates who have mobility problems.
Cada una de las más de 3.500 personas sin hogar de Barcelona tiene su historia. Contarla a los demás significa sensibilizar de primera mano, acercar realidades desconocidas y romper prejuicios, pero también ayuda a salir de la invisibilidad y a sentirse útil. En Arrels, un grupo de personas comparten su testimonio con los medios de comunicación, los estudiantes que nos visitan y a través de redes sociales com twitter.
Art is a major driver to change and also a good ally to improve self-esteem and strengthen bonds. We have proved that through the theatre group, that meets each Friday to learn, rehearsal and create, but especially, to share experiences, laugh and have a good time. At Arrels, we also encourage the creativity through drawing, cinema, photography and some artistic workshops that allow people to occupy their time in a useful way.
At Arrels, people linked to the entity can participate in different activities throughout the year. What’s more: decide them and programme them. Since the commission of activities, that consists of cultural visits, nature excursions, leisure activities and also summer stays. Deciding and participating is important to feel ourselves useful.
Most of the people we accompany at Arrels won’t be able to join the labour market because of their health or their age but, in some cases, this possibility does exist. Arrels works the labour inclusion through Fundació Mambré, boosted with other three social entities to promote labour and housing alternatives.
Arrels’ management team takes the support on the director in the new executive decision of the entity and looks always over the medium- and long- term. It is composed of working people, volunteers and two people that have lived on the street. Their experience on the street and in the use of the services Arrels has is essential to improve the care.