Qvinna in Botkyrka 

Company: Botkyrkabyggen, Sweden
Key words: Equality, empowering people, self-sufficiency, integration, job creation
Description: In autumn 2017, the affordable housing company Botkyrkabyggen started the gender equality project Qvinna in Botkyrka, which provides unemployed women of foreign descent who live in Botkyrkabyggen residences with jobs and language classes.

The women clean the entryways and yards of the residential housing blocks. They get training in gender equality and health, CPR, as well as how to handle threatening and violent situations. They also undergo a health exam via the company’s health service.

The work of these women has helped contribute to an increased sense of well-being in the areas where the women work. Vandalism has decreased, they act as good role models for the area and their sense of independence has increased, which is a consequence of their ability to provide for themselves, a better knowledge of Swedish and Swedish society. They are good ambassadors for the affordable housing company and act as role models for other people in the area.

Botkyrkabyggen also sees that when the women work on and take over the public spaces – the sense of security increases for everyone. Environments where women and children thrive and where everyone thrives regardless of their sex and age. Environments that are dominated by men and are shaped by men do not create a sense of security for everyone; the men thrive but not all of the women and children. Making Qvinna in Botkyrka visible, having them take over and work in these areas has a longer lasting effect than just keeping the areas clean and tidy.

Qvinna in Botkyrka project is expanding, it is no longer a temporary project but part of the regular business. The goal is to hire 100 women as a part of Qvinna in Botkyrka by 2025 and to have all of cleaning in the company´s areas performed by these women, hired by Botkyrkabyggen with wages comparable to those of other collective agreements.

Contact: To find out more on this initiative, please do not hesitate to contact the Coordinator (see contact details in the Members Only Zone).

 


 

Portalen – the Portal

Company: Hyresbostäder i Norrköping AB, Sweden
Key words: Empowering people, self-sufficiency, professional mentoring, job creation, welcoming refugees
Description: Portalen’s objective is to get more people into their own self-sufficiency (which in this case meaning getting people into work or self-funded studies)!

The activity of Portalen is located to two premises in two different neighbourhoods in the city of Norrköping, in Hageby (opened in 2011) and Ringdansen (opened in 2017).

Portalen’s activities are based on the American development theory, ABCD (Asset-Based Community Development), where focus is shifted from discovering problems and shortcomings to skills and abilities. In the case of Portalen, this means that we’re trying to highlight the individual’s positive assets and how these can be developed for the purpose of creating their own self-sufficiency. Besides the ABCD-theory, operations are based on another four cornerstones: proximity, simplicity, networking and mutual benefit.

Currently Portalen’s activities focus on e.g. professional mentoring, establishment of cooperation and networks with companies and associations in the municipality and especially teaching Swedish language and society. Today’s activities are a lot affected major refugee stream in the fall of 2015, which explains the demand for education in Swedish culture and language.

Contact: To find out more on this initiative, please do not hesitate to contact the Coordinator (see contact details in the Members Only Zone).

 


 

Working Wardrobe

Company: Bolton at Home, United Kingdom
Key words: Self-sufficiency, professional mentoring, accessing jobs
Description: We all know how important first impressions are especially when we are going to an interview. We do a lot of work with customers in Bolton supporting them to find work and it’s a shame if all this work is undone at the point of interview just because they don’t have anything suitable to wear.

This project aims to address that. If you have an interview but nothing suitable to wear you will be able to book an appointment at our shop ‘working wardrobe’ where you will be able to choose a suit or suitable clothes, shoes and any appropriate accessories for free.

Of all the things that our customers need support with, in terms of getting back into work, getting something suitable to wear is the most straightforward to provide. Since we set out with this simple idea we have been overwhelmed by the response from both public, private and voluntary sectors.

Contact: To find out more on this initiative, please do not hesitate to contact the Coordinator (see contact details in the Members Only Zone).

 


 

Case Management

Company: Wiener Wohnen, Austria
Key words: Evictions, professional mentoring
Description: Approximately 900 households are evicted every year from municipal housing due their non-payment of the rent or due to an anti-social behaviour. About 1,800 people are affected by evictions every year. The analysis of these cases shows that many of the affected people never have tried at all to get in contact with Wiener Wohnen – neither after receiving the court order nor even shortly before the eviction.

From an economic perspective each eviction costs the housing company at least 10,000 euros and generates incredible human suffering. But there are also hidden costs for the public administration caused by the need of caring for homeless people. Scientific findings show that eviction is disastrous – particularly for children (350 minors are affected by eviction every year). Losing their home, their friends, their surroundings is a traumatic experience.

That is the background why Wiener Wohnen started a new service in March 2017, which is called Case Management. A team of nine persons including seven social workers try get in contact with tenants with rental arrears, who have already got a notice with the date of eviction. The social workers call them and if this is not successful they visit them. They offer support, analyse the individual situation and organize professional help. For example: social workers help to fill in the application form for housing benefits, organize appointments or accompany their clients to social organizations. In cases of health problems, they organize care or another form of accommodation. Each intervention is professionally documented in a data base and reported.

Contact: To find out more on this initiative, please do not hesitate to contact the Coordinator (see contact details in the Members Only Zone).

 


 

Helping people into work

Company: Bolton at Home, United Kingdom
Key words: Self-sufficiency, professional mentoring, accessing jobs
Description: Bolton at Home asks suppliers, as part of their contracts, to create jobs, work experience or training opportunities for the long-term unemployed on Bolton’s estates who need extra help to get into work.

Business in the Community (BITC) recognised the value of this work and we were named the winner of their 2016 Responsible Business Awards in the category of ‘employment for excluded groups’. The work programme creates paid jobs that would have otherwise not existed for people with low confidence, health and wellbeing issues, lack of experience and in need of new skills. Impacts:

  • breaks cycle of long-term unemployment for families;
  • helps people to become more socially and economically active;
  • improves people’s health and well-being;
  • delivers tangible bottom-line returns for the business in rents;
  • creates new employment and skills funding opportunities.
Contact: To find out more on this initiative, please do not hesitate to contact the Coordinator (see contact details in the Members Only Zone).

 


 

Home Builder

Company: ÖrebroBostäder AB, Sweden
Key words: Self-sufficiency, professional mentoring, accessing jobs
Description: The aim is to provide trainee positions or apply other labour market measures to job seekers in the area by involving them in the renewal work in their own living environment. Such labour market initiatives can create contacts with employers such as the construction industry, thereby leading to employment.

To ensure good contact, each Home Builder has a mentor; a person closely connected with the project, either as a client or a contractor. While the practical, concrete participation in district development has positive effects on personal development, it is also good for the neighbourhood and the district to create active role models for other people there.

One important step towards making this project possible was the public procurement ÖBO carried out in 2012, whereby contractors were invited to quote a price to renovate the area in question. The process stipulated that the contractor who won the tender would also have to run a social project, namely the Home Builder project. SKANSKA Sweden won the contract and presented a very ambitious proposal: they set out the goal of giving, during the four-year life of the contract, 50 -80 long-term unemployed people in Vivalla access to trainee positions.

Contact: To find out more on this initiative, please do not hesitate to contact the Coordinator (see contact details in the Members Only Zone).

 


 

Welcome to the future – the way to real and important jobs

Company: Bostadsbolaget, Sweden
Key words: Integration of migrants, self-sufficiency, professional mentoring, accessing jobs
Description: The aim of this project is to improve integration of new immigrants into the Swedish society, by shortening the time that it takes to get a real job from nine to two years and, last but not least, to get more people interested in the real estate and building business.

The project is a group-wide engagement within the Framtiden group where Bostadsbolaget, during three years, will offer internships to 100 immigrants.

During six months, the new comers work under the guidance of a tutor – a Bostadsbolaget employee – as a cleaner/caretaker. Close to 40 employees signed up as tutors to the trainees and help them in their daily assignments.

This way the trainees not only learn the occupation but also get to practice the Swedish language in a social working environment. It´s also good for the employees who get a helping hand as well as the tenants who get more people working with the living environment.

Contact: To find out more on this initiative, please do not hesitate to contact the Coordinator (see contact details in the Members Only Zone).

 


 

The Digital Public Writer

Company: Vosgelis, France
Key words: Professional mentoring, digitalisation, elderly
Description: The position of Digital Public Writer has been set up to overcome the lack of permanent help for senior citizens, often unfamiliar with computers, to carry out their administrative procedures online (house moving, tax declaration, online payments…).

In providing this assistance, Vosgelis also has a second goal: to increase the purchasing power and solvency of its senior customers through better budget management and to provide information on their rights and the benefits they can claim.

Vosgelis houses a high proportion of seniors: 35.7% of the inhabitants of its properties are over 60 years old, against 23.9% nationally (according to INSEE). In addition, 90% of French people wish to age gracefully at home (according to a survey conducted by OpinionWay in 2012). Secondly, most of these people live in rural areas, which are becoming increasingly deserted by public services and health professionals.

In 2015,Vosgelis created the brand Habitalis to allow senior citizens to continue to live at home for as long as possible. This offers them a range of accommodation and associated services. The services already set up under this brand are:

  • assistance with fuel bills;
  • efforts to prevent social isolation;
  • prevention of loss of autonomy;
  • access to health coverage.
Contact: To find out more on this initiative, please do not hesitate to contact the Coordinator (see contact details in the Members Only Zone).

 


 

INTEGRA

Company: ATC Piemonte Centrale, Italy
Key words: Self-sufficiency, tenants involvement, job creation
Description: The INTEGRA project was born in partnership between the association “Terza Settimana” (The Third Week), ATC Piemonte Centrale and the Municipality of Turin.

It’s a model to help ATC poorest tenants to bear the expenses of their dwellings through the maintenance and decoration of the common areas of the building they are living in. All this is financed with working vouchers, by the Banking Foundation “Compagnia di Sanpaolo”.

Maintenance works, essential to prevent the deterioration in public housing, cannot ignore innovative measures to support the quality of living of the most vulnerable tenants, combining the traditional methods of intervention to new activities focused on increasing the involvement of inhabitants in a perspective horizontal subsidiarity.

The specific objectives are:

  • increase employment of people from disadvantaged groups in public housing;
  • improve the quality of life and care within the public housing neighbourhoods;
  • generate virtuous practices / good practices on tenants’ involvement
  • improve supervision and safety in public housing estates.
  • build a virtuous model of subsidiarity replicable in another social housing neighbourhood.
Contact: To find out more on this initiative, please do not hesitate to contact the Coordinator (see contact details in the Members Only Zone).

 


 

Chrisp Street Exchange

Company: Poplar HARCA, United Kingdom
Key words: Empowering people, self-sufficiency, professional mentoring, job creation
Description: Chrisp Street Exchange is the setting for a new community of entrepreneurs and their businesses to learn, network and grow. More than just a work space, it is a place where young businesses can come together to work, network and grow.

Chrisp Street Exchange is open seven days a week and is designed to support local entrepreneurs and businesses. Those enjoying the benefits of the centre will be able to access space and facilities across the network including on-site access to free business advice, free workshops on a wide variety of practical business topics, as well as access to affordable finance for start-up and growing small enterprises.

The London Small Business Centre, the leading enterprise support agency in London, also runs free workshops and one-two-one business advice onsite for start-ups and small businesses.

Contact: To find out more on this initiative, please do not hesitate to contact the Coordinator (see contact details in the Members Only Zone).

 


 

Young in Botkyrka
Company: Botkyrkabyggen, Sweden
Key words: Professional mentoring, job creation, accessing jobs, youth
Description: There is so much potential in the young people living in the different areas around Botkyrka. To seize that potential, Botkyrkabyggen has initiated a project called Young in Botkyrka together with the job centre, where local youths get an education and internship with us. Our wishes for the project are that the participants decide to stay and work with us after the internship.

The purpose is to work towards socially sustainable areas and a great part of that is to include the local people. By hiring local youths, we grow stronger ties with the area and establish a process towards a long term result. The purpose of the project is also to renew the property industry by introducing young people to it.

The latest project led to 67% of the 6 participants being hired by Botkyrkabyggen and 33% moving on to study. In the first project 23 persons participated. After a year, 44% were employed and 9% were studying.

Contact: To find out more on this initiative, please do not hesitate to contact the Coordinator (see contact details in the Members Only Zone).