According to estimates of NGOs, more than 4,000 people live in Bratislava on the street. Accommodation capacity in the city is limited to 300 beds only. OZ STOPA has been operating the registered "Field Social Crisis Intervention Service" since 2017. Our main area of activity is the area of the Old Town and its surrounding areas. Based on our field research, there are 169 people in the area (monitoring in 2019). Our organization is focused primarily on preventing long-term homelessness, and the Old Town is the first place for many people in crisis to seek refuge. In this area, we are creating a network that helps identify short-term homeless people with the aim of early intervention and delegation to facilities that provide the necessary support.
Streetwork service NGO STOPA takes several forms:
It is subject to weather conditions, which our organization evaluates subjectively or proceeds based on NGO agreements.
According to the degree of subjective evaluation of weather conditions, the time system of work is adapted. In extreme form we cover 12 hours of field service in the Old Town. At this point we actively use cooperation with volunteers based on our long-term cooperation, especially with the Department of Social Work of the University of Constantine in Nitra.
Target group: people at risk of life on the street
Objective: to eliminate and reduce the risk of freezing and other serious injuries during the winter.
It takes place throughout the year in the territory of the Old Town district and adjacent "sponge" areas, focusing on people on the street for a short time and street magazine vendors. We are also responding to suggestions from citizens. According to the evaluation of the client, we either delegate to the territorial NGOs or intervene separately on the territory of the whole city if it is a client not belonging to the "chronic" category. The aim is to provide assistance to people wishing to end homelessness as quickly as possible.
Our specific activity is Early Bird. It is a streetwork that starts at 4 am and the aims is to find and give advice to people who live on the street for various reasons, but stil working permanently throughout the day without identifying their surroundings.
The first form is focused on the integration process. It takes place mainly during the months of January - April throughout the city in order to identify and motivate as many people as possible into the integration program.
The second form is in the frame of post-integration activities, where we provide crisis counseling for clients who have left the street but are still on the edge of social exclusion.
The third form is based on cooperation with the Institute for the Imprisonment in Želiezovce, where we carry out preventive activities
Target group: homeless people, people in crisis, people at risk of homelessness following imprisonment, people at risk of relapse after returning back to normal life
Objective: to end homelessness and to act preventively where the risk of homelessness is present
Photo: Braňo Vartovník