At Studerstrasse 44 in 3004 Bern, an emergency shelter for 6-7 young people aged 14 to 23 has existed since May 2022. The recipients are adolescents and young adults in precarious housing and living situations.
The facility covers the basic physical needs and serves as a safe space for the users. The emergency sleeping facility is available 365 nights a year, can be accessed at any time voluntarily and without prior approval of costs, and is supervised by specialised social work professionals. The location is easily accessible and provides protection in various problematic situations. Overnight stays are accommodated in single or multiple occupancy rooms and, whenever possible, in separate areas based on age.
During the first 80 days, the facility was already used 387 times (as of 18 August 2022) by 34 different users for safe overnight stays, averaging 4.8 overnight stays per day. 30% of the users are identified as female, while 70% of the users are identified as male.
The service is voluntary, at low-threshold and free of charge for the young people. The emergency shelter for young people ensures easy and barrier-free access to the services. This means that the services are accessible based on the realities of their lives and are not abstinence-oriented. The professionals act individually, flexibly and professionally on a case-to-case basis. Case work is needs-oriented and not standardised.
The emergency sleeping facility is a contact point especially for young people who have lost confidence in existing institutions and/or have turned away from them. It is used as a first point of contact when an overnight stay in unsafe conditions seems inevitable, thus prevent traumatising experiences and a worsening of the situation.
The emergency shelter serves as a contact point, particularly for young people who have lost trust in existing institutions and/or have turned away from them. It is used as the first point of contact when overnight stays in unsafe conditions appear inevitable, thus preventing traumatic experiences and a worsening of the situation.
The offer allows the recipients to approach problematic situations with respect and self-determination, guided by the principles of accessibility, voluntariness, and advocacy. It fills a previous gap in the network of social institutions. Additionally, the aim is for this offer to serve as a model for other Swiss cities.
Association Rêves Sûrs-Sichere Träume (Safe Dreams Association)