Creating an emergency department for Bucharest's homeless

Samusocial international, created in 1998 by Dr. Xavier Emmanuelli, one of the founders of the Paris Samusocial and Doctors without Borders, opened its Bucharest branch, Samusocial din România.

Social and Employment

Bucharest, Romania

Andreas Baude

114,000 € over a three-year period to the Selection Committee at 2004/11/30

Project leader

Samusocial din Romania

« We are in regular contact with Laurence Souloumiac who trained and leads the Samusocial team. She keeps us up to date on the progress of her projects. Veolia's contribution in addition to Apa Nova's local commitment is a great help in definitively putting this project on its way to success. »

Andreas Baude

According to official estimations, over 300 homeless people died in the street in Romania in 2002, with two-thirds of the deaths occurring in winter. And in Bucharest, as elsewhere, several thousands of people remain in a highly uncertain situation. Social leaders currently fear finding elderly people and families on the street. Most homeless people are not covered by health insurance, but they are exposed to many troubles and contagious diseases. They still do not have access to hospital care. Even though it is a pertinent issue elsewhere, here in Romania, social policy towards the least fortunate is practically nonexistent.

Aid in emergency situations

To lend a hand to these people who are left out in the cold, the Samusocial (mobile emergency medical service for homeless people) opened a branch in Bucharest eighteen months ago with the goal of setting up an emergency system for the homeless. Mobile teams who are trained and recruited onsite work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, giving medical care and advice in the streets of Bucharest. Medical and psychosocial consultations are provided in a Samusocial office which will also serve as a public service liaison. Finally, the system will be rounded out by a 50-bed shelter open each night to the most vulnerable individuals.
French companies established in Romania, along with the French Embassy, provide active support for this project. Apa Nova, Veolia Water's Romanian subsidiary, performs free connection of Samusocial buildings to the water network. The Veolia foundation has committed to a 114,000 euro grant over three years which will go towards refurbishing the buildings and purchasing a vehicle for mobile teams.
To keep people from dying of cold on the streets at night.