Housing First

Krisi is 17 years old and has recently become a mom – her baby boy Emir is just 2 months old. They live in a single room dwelling in Sofia’s Filipovtsi neighborhood together with 13 other people – Krisi’s grandfather, his two sisters with disabilities, her aunt with her five children, and four other siblings of the young mother. The living conditions in their home are poor and the only income of the family - the disability pensions of the two elderly women.

The situation is similar to those of many other pregnant women and young mothers enrolled in the home visiting program Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) implemented by the Trust for Social Achievement (TSA) and supporting vulnerable families. Many of them live in illegal settlements, with no ID documents and respectively access to services, and their stories were shared by participants in a meeting of the NFP Local Advisory Board.

The meeting was held on January 8 at the Sofia Municipality and was attended by doctors, representatives of partner organizations and institutions. The discussions focused on the importance that safe and secure environment has on the health of pregnant women, young mothers and their children.

The participants heard about the model of another successful American program - Housing First, created in the 1980s and implemented in several European countries. It provides housing for at-risk families, financial aid for rent and bills, as well as intensive support by a social worker - all of these as a prerequisite for breaking the circle of poverty.