Barcelona opens first women-only homeless shelter
In October 2020, Saint John of God Social Services in partnership with Barcelona City Council opened the first homeless shelter in Barcelona specifically for women, La Llavor. FEANTSA met with the managers of La Llavor to discuss the opening of the shelter and the importance of providing homeless services specifically geared towards women.
Over the last 12 years, Saint John of God has seen a change in the profile of homeless people, and the opening of La Llavor is intended to cater for the growing number of women who find themselves experiencing homelessness. The funding contract with the city council is for at least 4 years. The length of this contract inadvertently benefits migrant women with an iregular migration status who use the shelter, as obtaining asylum or a residence permit can take up to 3 years in Spain. This is very important as 80% of the women currently staying in the shelter are of a migrant background, 40% of whom have an irregular migration status. The shelter is also capable of accommodating women with childern, although there are no children staying in La Llavor at present.
12 professionals were hired to work at the shelter, with a view to hire a psychologist and a legal counselling team to support the women at a later date. There is an emphasis on autonomous living in La Llavor, which is why the residents are responsible for the daily maintenance of their rooms and each woman has her own key to her room. Assisstance in education and acquisition of job skills is provided by ARED Foundation, who have partenered with Saint John of God for this purpose.