Living on the street damages health because they are exposed to many risks like violence, cold, rain or insolations. Also, every day, they have to confront fear, insecurity and lack of rest. According to the homeless people 2019 census, 46% declare having problems of physical health and 29% have chronic illnesses.
Living on the street also affects mental health. In some cases, people present more than one condition and do not find answers at any centre. The challenge is to find proper and stable resources according to people needs.
Homeless people, despite health problems they suffer, they usually dissociate of the health network. At Arrels, we accompany them and we bridge between national health clinics, hospitals and monitoring centres of drug treatment.
In 2019, we have accompanied 306 people to the medical and mental health services.
Everybody likes to receive a visit when is hospitalized. That is why, a volunteer team specifically do. They visit and accompany homeless people that have to spend some time at the hospital.
Simple things like bring a comb or a pyjama, giving a book or a magazine and offering some time improve mentally people’s health.
Often, homeless people do not have a health insurance card nor any kind of document because they have lost it or have been robbed. According to homeless people 2019 census, only 53% of polled people have a health insurance card. A figure that decrease for the third consecutive year.
Accompanying makes easier to process again the documents and giving homeless people access to public health.
When someone quits living on the street, they confront new situations and different feelings. At Arrels, we have a psychological support team to help these people to move forward.
To appreciate stress levels, depression and other mental and emotional health aspects, they work through individual or group therapies and they coordinate with the rest of the entity teams.
Arrels do not has in-house psychiatrists but works in coordination with the standardised health network and the Team of Mental Health for Homeless People (Equipo de Salud Mental para Personas Sin hogar (ESMES) to visit people with a serious mental disorder.
Since 2015, Arrels wants to go deeply into the knowledge and the neurological diagnosis to understand better conduct disorders and offer a more comprehensive look to the person.
At Arrels, we also accompany people with addictions like alcohol. In some cases, we accompany them to detoxification treatment and in other cases, we work to reduce this addiction always respecting their will and time.
Some of the people we assist suffer two or more disorders, like a mental illness and an alcohol addiction, and do not find where they can recover. In these cases, Arrel’s Pere Barnés home play its part. It receives people that have lived on the street and have delicate physical and mental health, while they find a vacancy in other specialised resource.
Homeless people suffer eating disorders and do not have a healthy eating. We try to make them eat three meals per day.
Most of the people we know need scheduled medical treatments, but most of them have difficulties to keep and administer medication.
At Arrels we have pharmacy services where each person receives the medication they need.
Living on the street means to wander about the town all day and often with not proper shoes, which causes foot pain.
That’s why it is so important these podiatry services at Arrels that, once a week, treats small feet problems of people we assist at the open centre.
Music has become a great solution to the well-being of homeless people at Arrels because it allows to interact with others, strengthen links and having a good time.
Moreover, at the llar it is a great therapeutic instrument to fight against listlessness, that affects 77% of resident people.