Quality level: 1
The purpose of Safe City is to reduce risk behaviours and practices associated with drug use among the homeless in Lisbon through an outreach programme of activities.
To reduce risk behaviours and practices associated with drug use among the homeless; to act in emergency situations; to promote better health conditions for the homeless drug addicts; to motivate them to enter to therapeutic programs; to promote better hygienic-sanitary conditions.
The Street Team of the project "Safe City" works in the city of Lisbon since July 2003 and its main goal is harm reduction among different target groups. The intervention initially targeted homeless drug addicts, however, the team felt a need to extend the intervention to other groups that, although not homeless, presented risk behaviours, like prostitutes, the population from Eastern Europe, ethnic minorities and young people. Another objective of the project is to remove abandoned vehicles used by the homeless. When this happens, the clients are guided to the proper institutions. The team works a predefined route covering 40 places, trying to establish a close relationship with clients, which results in higher levels of motivation and makes it an easier task to refer clients to suitable institutions. Along the routes, the team exchanges needles and distributes condoms. A daily, continuous and personal contact is established with each client, in order to create a trustful relationship, which will facilitate the motivational work and prepare the client for change, making possible health screenings, guidance to Shelters, Social Security, Therapeutic Communities, CATs (Attendance Centres for Drug Addicts), Detoxification Units and to Opioids Substitution Programmes. Besides the guidance, the team tries to escort the client to the premises. This procedure increases the clients' trust in the team, results in better motivational work and more effective results. To carry out these activities, it was necessary to extend the intervention to day light hours. A Contact Point was also created to give support to drug addicts and prostitutes in one of the administrative areas, by request of the population and with the support of the local Administrative Council. When the project began, we found a large number of opioids abusers. However, this reality has changed, currently the great majority of clients are being treated with methadone, though keeping the use of cocaine.
The PDF contains the full intervention description including additional contact information.
We're currently conducting a short survey of this resource (EDDRA: Exchange on Drug Demand Reduction Action). The survey will take no more than 2 minutes and we would be really grateful for your contribution.
The EDDRA team