A lack of times and human resources makes it impossible for us to look after all homeless people at the same time. We must make a selection.
As soon as a person who is followed-up by the “street” team, can move into a home of their own, he/she is taken over by the “housing” team. This liberates a place for someone else for follow-up in the street.
We believe it’s normal to focus follow-up on the most vulnerable, those with the greatest risk of seeing their general situation worsen - or who even risk dying.
In our selection we apply 9 criteria
- 3 criteria regarding identity or presentation
- age: older than 65 or between 18 and 25
- gender: women are more vulnerable than men
- our index of social integration (based on criteria regarding body, cloths and behaviour): below 6
- 3 medical criteria:
- medical problems
- mental health problems
- addiction problems
- 3 criteria regarding context:
- absent or discouraged network
- immobility of the homeless person
- a history of several years in the street
The patients we meet in the street and who fulfill some of these criteria are registered for “pre-follow-up of the active homeless”, which is in fact our waiting room. When deciding whom to include into our active care, we select those who cumulate the most negative criteria. In spite of using these criteria, the selection always remains difficult, simply because there are still too many vulnerable people in Belgium. The selection is always problematic.
© Pierre Lecrenier