The night shelter team is ready!
Saturday 14 November 2020
This year Diana Pereira is coordinating the Wanteraktioun night shelter for Caritas Luxembourg. Interview with this new recruit a few hours before the launch of the Wanteraktioun 2020-2021.
HOW DID THE PREPARATIONS FOR THE WANTERAKTIOUN 2020-2021 GO?
To prepare the Wanteraktioun 2020-2021, we met several times with representatives of the Ministry of Family, Integration and the Greater Region and the other partners of the Wanteraktioun - the Luxembourg Red Cross and Inter-Actions. It has to be said that we are relatively well experienced: The previous Wanteraktioun had been extended beyond the initial end date because of the Coronavirus.
Nevertheless, in the end, everything was a bit hasty. Because of the health situation and the establishment of the curfew, we had to open a curfew shelter with a minimum service (from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m.) on 2 November, a month in advance, within a few days, so that homeless people could find a place for the night and respect the curfew.
Since 2 November, everything has been going very well. The people who come to the night shelter for the curfew are very calm and respect the instructions. We are happy that they can protect themselves. The communication between all the actors in the field is also going very well. To date we have welcomed 124 different people and a maximum of 73 people in a single night. Wanteraktioun as we know it starts on November 16, two weeks before the usual start date.
IS THE TEAM ALREADY IN PLACE?
Yes, since the 1st of November. We are very lucky to be able to count on a large part of last year's team again. This is a real added value since they know both the users who come to the Wanteraktioun and the field. We are also very happy that they were available to start one month in advance. It's not easy.
The team includes 6 social workers, but also, for the moment, about fifty volunteers who take turns morning and evening to welcome the homeless people in the best possible way. I would like to thank them all for their commitment. Without the volunteers, we would not be able to do our work properly.
WHAT MEASURES HAVE YOU TAKEN AS PART OF COVID-19?
We take the temperature of each user at the entrance to the shelter. As soon as a person has a fever, he or she is redirected to another structure for appropriate care. We make disinfectant available throughout the building and ensure that the distance rules are respected. Wearing a mask is compulsory.
THE COORDINATION OF THE NIGHT SHELTER IS A PREMIERE FOR YOU. WHAT IS YOUR MIND TODAY, A FEW HOURS BEFORE THE OPENING OF THE WANTERAKTIOUN?
I am of course looking forward to it. I am happy to be able to take up this new challenge and make my modest contribution. But above all I am happy for the homeless people, that they can sleep in a warm bed again.