Our latest Belgian charities looks at a very special and dedicated organization.
Samusocial of Brussels helps homeless people and asylum seekers. Its aims are to intervene close to people in distress in Brussels and to offer them primary assistance by offering medical care, psychological help, meals or showers. Ultimately, the goal is to stop people from sleeping on the streets.
Every year, Samusocial plays a major role in Brussels’ Winter Plan which welcomes more than 1,000 homeless people every night. Help is immediate thanks to Samusocial’s mobile teams and emergency welcome centres – with one in ten of Brussels’ 19 communes. Replenishing stock such as food, bedding or medical supplies is essential, says one of the centre managers: “We are an asbl [not-for-profit association] for emergencies, but even in emergencies you can plan.”
Samusocial aid is also targeted at long-term support for the homeless. The main goal is to offer people realistic solutions so they can leave the streets.
Services offered include a family centre and the ‘Housing First’ programme aimed at 18-25 year olds. This scheme allows young people to move immediately from the street to personal housing. Once the young person has been re-housed, support is given to help them solve the problems that led them on to the street in the first place.
How to help
Support is essential to help the women, men and families with children who rely on Samusocial services. Monthly support will help Samusocial develop future projects. You can make a single or monthly donation online by transfer to BE04 0000 0000 3131, help the homeless in your will, or make a donation in kind.
The organisation, linked to Solidarité Grands Froids, is looking for volunteers on an ad-hoc basis to help set up and fit out the accommodation centres. Tasks include putting up beds, painting rooms and communal areas and performing administrative duties.
If you would like to volunteer on a more permanent basis, please contact Samusocial partners Solidarité Grands Froids (info@solidaritegrandfroid or 0477 33 85 47). This charity will for example collect and sort any clothing you want to donate to Samusocial.
To offer support, please contact