Zero Flat is a low-demand night-time resource with a capacity of 10 people. Currently, we have two flats of this typology:
Every night, Zero Flat accommodates people known to Arrels who have been living on the street for a long time, and who, in many cases, have gone through other types of resources but have not found a place there because they do not meet their needs.
In Arrels, we advocate for the opening of safe, non-crowded, and local night spaces in every neighborhood so that hundreds of people can stop sleeping on the streets. The aim is to overcome the current model of overcrowded shelters with waiting lists and offer a safe place to spend the night that adapts to the needs of people (women and LGBTQ+ individuals, those with pets, addiction and/or mental health issues, etc.).
We have proved that it is a cost-effective and efficient option compared to other initiatives aimed at addressing homelessness.
We offer a safe and welcoming space where we strengthen bonds with people experiencing homelessness who have not found an alternative to what they need in other resources. Low-demand resources are those that cover the most basic needs and in which regulations are flexible and adapt, as far as possible, to the situation of each person. At Zero Flat, they are allowed to bring their pets, drinks, and the belongings that they would typically carry with them.
At Arrels, we accompany people who are going through different situations and who may sometimes have certain addictions. We provide support to people from a harm reduction perspective, to ensure that they can try to improve their health. For example, we ask them to leave their alcohol with us when they access the apartment. We try to negotiate and provide it according to the person’s needs, and to prevent them from suffering withdrawal syndrome.
Many of the people who we have accommodated in Zero Flat have had the opportunity to move into an individual or shared flat, to the Pere Barnés Residential Home, or to other spaces, and have been able to change their situation of homelessness. There is no limit to the length of stay at the Zero Flat; the most important thing is the process and that the person can transform their reality and improve their quality of life as autonomously as possible.
Volunteers accompany the people who sleep at the Zero Flat and also carry out logistical support tasks, such as organizing the beds, warming up cups of broth, preparing coffee, and doing the laundry. But most importantly, they perform a very valuable task of listening, showing interest in others, engaging in conversation and supporting them.