The centre for homeless people with additions strengthens its roleThe first facility of its type in both Catalonia and the Spanish state, this centre has helped some two hundred residents since it was set up in April 2022. Thirty of these people have managed to make progress in becoming more self-sufficient and now live away from the centre. Data also shows that residents have reduced their intake of alcohol and other drugs by between 50% and 70% since going to stay at the centre.
The centre responds to a long-standing demand and is designed to help people who are doubly vulnerable and in a situation of extreme social exclusion: living rough and addicted to different substances, including alcohol. People living at the centre have a delicate state of health and various associated pathologies resulting from years of drug dependency and living rough. The team of professionals providing support for them at the centre have found that staying at the facility offers a substantial improvement in their health and emotional state.
This new centre for intensive social and health care has been operating non-stop for the last 18 months in the district of Les Corts, prioritising support for people over 45 in a difficult health situation and introducing the gender perspective to address the different needs of women and LGBTIQ residents. This involves specific measures such as a 50% reserve on places for women, the creation of non-mixed spaces, different access times and specific services.
The centre has a capacity for 50 people, opens around the clock every day of the year, covers basic needs relating to accommodation, hygiene and food, and offers social and healthcare programmes which include the reduction of harm caused by the consumption of substances. The centre also has spaces for self-isolation in cases of infection by Covid-19.
Move to Horta-Guinardó
Created by the City Council and the Barcelona Public Health Agency (APSB) in response to the first Covid-19 health emergency and managed by the Welfare and Development Association (ABD), the centre is currently operating in a youth hostel belonging to the Fundació Pere Tarrés in the district of Les Corts.
The facility is set to move to another location in Horta-Guinardó in March and will be managed by the ABD itself, the organisation which won the ASPB public tendering process to run this shelter service.
The search for the new premises was carried out by the organisation. A series of complementary meetings started in November to complement the process, with the Council and the ASPB talking to local people, the families of pupils at the school near the centre and local shopkeepers in the area to give them information on the project.
At the same time, over the next few weeks and before the actual move, the ASPB and the City Council will continue to work to optimise the functioning of the centre and achieve the broadest possible acceptance in the local area.
The facility is one of the measures set out in the Action Plan on Drugs and Addictions 2021-2024 and will get annual public funding of 2.5 million euros a year from Barcelona City Council and the Government of Catalonia.