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Arona brings pioneering “Habitat” programme to help homeless people 

Arona has launched a pioneering scheme in Tenerife to get homeless people off the streets and find them accommodation as part of a new life.

The local council is working with young people of the municipality who don’t have jobs, are not studying and/or are turning to alcohol or drugs.

The municipal area of Social Services, directed by Elena Cabello, has launched the “Habitat” programme, based on the “housing first” model, which allows access to a dwelling by people with a long history of living on the street and problems of health, in such a way that a group of professionals can work with them in their recovery and their incorporation into a full social life.

This programme, which has a long history in different parts of the world, has been launched in cities such as Madrid, Barcelona and Malaga and in provinces such as Vizcaya or Guipúzcoa.

Arona is bringing it to Tenerife for the first time in collaboration with the Foundation Rais.

Working in a comprehensive manner with people who have lived for many years on the streets of the municipality or in a public resource, such as a shelter, and who have different health problems is the main mission of the “Habitat” programme.

The programme will facilitate a home for people who do not have it and provide a set of professional intervention services that will allow them to confront and try to solve the different factors that have led them to live on the streets.

Those responsible for “Habitat” will begin working with a dozen people in this situation, who must be over 18 years old, had a long life on the streets or in shelters and present a situation of personal deterioration.

Users, who in 82% of cases are usually men, have to accept a commitment to contribute a third of the income they receive through grants, if they have them, and be willing to participate in weekly evaluation interventions with the professionals of the programme, so that they have continuous monitoring.

“Habitat” usually helps people of a typical profile, that is a person of 48 years old, at least nine of them living on the street, and who presents some type of pathology, disability or addiction.

The councillor for Social Services explained that “in the face of a welfare approach that is limited to addressing the needs of the homeless, what we intend from this area is to perform a comprehensive work, trying to solve the factors that have led these people to live for a long time in the street or in hostels. “

Elena Cabello has insisted that “the experience shows that most of the users improve their situation significantly. Many of them take up social ties or with their families that were broken, suffer less violence, improve their health and their quality of life, as well as reducing the use of emergency social resources and increasing others related to rehabilitation and reintegration.”