VZW Oranjehuis visited Minister of Welfare, Public Health and Family Wouter Beke. “We have invited the Minister to present our innovative approach to support young people and families who are in a vulnerable position,” says Director Sabine Bourgeois. Young people and old people also spoke to the minister.
The first project presented is Back on Track, where the non-profit Oranjehuis first provides a roof over the head for young people. “Only when there is accommodation do we begin to guide you toward work, among other things, and you can begin to organize your life in other areas.”
Back On Track is a three-year project and is now at the end of its second year. “We work with the non-profit organization Oranjehuis not only in West Flanders, but also in Ghent. The basis of this project is Kortrijk. More than 85% of the young people we mentored also managed to get housing. Sometimes we work first with temporary housing that we Young men measure from it their way to stable dwellings.”
We also help them track, exercise and organize their rights. What is also important is to restore their network with young people or to find people who can do something for them. ”
Back On Track is currently working with private investors. The government pays investors based on success rates.
At vzw Oranjehuis, it is hoped that structural funds will be obtained for such projects, so that you do not have to finish after the three-year project.
We have asked the Minister to spread this across Flanders and to redirect the available resources. Paying living wages, counseling and psychiatry cost much more. Back on Track guidance also ensures that a significant return is made in the lives of these young people.”
Atoom 80 is an innovative project educating young people aged 12-25 in the field of youth welfare. This project is in the starting blocks and six young people are already mentoring within this project.
“We are guiding the young people here who have not been to school for a long time through placement or admission, in order to direct them back into the path of training or work. However, there should not be a rift in education before we intervene!”
VZW Oranjehuis is transforming the Fatima church owned by the non-profit association on a long lease contract into a pop-up lab where a stimulating environment is created to discover what you want to do. In this way we have already been able to direct young people to training courses and higher education as well. “
Sabine Bourgeois is convinced that daytime activities aren’t just about keeping young people occupied. “We aim that through what you learn, you gain a position that gives you added value in life.”
De Stek is a project about homelessness. “It is not easy to find new forms of affordable housing in the housing market.”
mobile housing units
“We are grateful to the City of Kortrijk for being able to use a plot of land next to Depot 102 here on the street for nine years to be able to convert six mobile housing units into tiny homes. This facility will be funded by private investors, and the King Baudouin Foundation will provide financing for the facilities. There we want to implement a joint housing project with De Stek with six young people who can live separately but still be close to each other, with the guidance of the non-profit organization Oranjehuis. It is a step towards fully independent living.”
The Oranjehuis family has already invited the neighborhood to see what collaborations can be made with the neighborhood. “A lot of ideas really came out and there was a lot of confidence and positivity.”
early and soon
The minister was very excited. That is why the title of his new plan to support children, youth and families is “Early and Soon”.
“With us, help is always close, in the sense of our availability, from education, basic facilities, childcare and housing, but also figuratively: we speak the language of children and young people, and therefore we also look for proximity in the meaning of the sentence.”
“Sometimes we also have to dare to take risks, because we are not allowed to manipulate the problems of young people and thus imprison them. By taking risks, opportunities open up in the space that has been created,” concludes Director Sabine Bourgeois.
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