In order to reduce the problems associated with homelessness, the pilot project will seek new, comprehensive solutions, tailored to the individual needs of each person, to provide homeless people with support that motivates and empowers them to develop communication and life skills, reduce dependency, promote employment, maintain housing, etc. The pilot project will identify and analyse the specific needs of the target group - homeless people at risk of social exclusion - including best practices and experiences from foreign countries (e.g. Finland, Poland, Lithuania and Estonia).
Based on the identified needs of the homeless, a description of the support service will be developed and the provision of support measures (from 12 to 15 months) for the homeless will be piloted, such as specialist counselling (social worker, psychiatrist, narcologist, lawyer, etc.), social skills rehabilitation counselling and psychological counselling, health improvement and hygiene measures, information and education measures, as well as the provision of affordable housing, etc. The implementation of support measures will be carried out in cooperation with Latvian municipalities, involving at least 3 municipalities with statistically the highest number of homeless people (tentatively, the Riga, Liepaja and Daugavpils municipalities), with particular emphasis on support to ensure access to housing, e.g. by allocating housing or by securing rented housing.
By the end of 2023, the project aims to reduce the risk of long-term homelessness by providing homeless people with more support tailored to their individual needs, including housing, as well as increasing their desire and opportunity to socialise.
Social Mentoring Support for Ukrainian Civilians
On 24 February 2022, the Russian Federation initiated an armed conflict in Ukraine, which triggered a refugee crisis in the country and has resulted in millions of people fleeing Ukraine to escape the war and receive assistance in a safe environment. Most of the war refugees have gone to Europe, including Latvia. The majority of Ukrainian civilians arriving in Latvia are women with children, with children being 45% of them. Most of them live in and around Riga, Liepaja and South Kurzeme Region, Valmiera Region.
Ukrainian civilians who leave Ukraine or who are unable to return to Ukraine due to the armed conflict caused by the Russian Federation during the armed conflict need support to solve specific social problems, alleviate hardship, increase social adaptation capacity, etc.
As of April 2022, Ukrainian civilians can benefit from the services of social mentors. It is assumed that on average 70% of the 10 000 Ukrainian civilians arriving in Latvia might need the services of a social mentor, providing support to improve their social functioning and integration into society.
The assistance of a social mentor constitutes practical support for Ukrainian civilians in understanding life in Latvia and its society, helping them in real-life situations to acquire skills necessary for everyday life, as well as providing support in dealing with everyday situations (for example, by providing information on the activities of Latvian institutions or practical assistance in getting to institutions for assistance (State Social Insurance Agency, State Employment Agency, kindergarten, school, medical institution, family doctor's practice, non-governmental organisations, etc.), while promoting the socio-economic inclusion of Ukrainian civilians.
The social mentoring service for Ukrainian residents is available throughout the territory of Latvia and is being provided in cooperation with the social services of 43 municipalities, thus ensuring convenient and simple support at the place of reception.
Sociālā mentora pakalpojums Ukrainas civiliedzīvotājiem tiek nodrošināts Sabiedrības integrācijas fonda īstenotā Eiropas Sociālā fonda projekta "Dažādības veicināšana" (Nr. 18.104.22.168./16/I/001) ietvaros. Finansējums 85% apmērā piešķirts no Eiropas Sociālā fonda un 15% finansē Latvijas valsts.