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The telephone helpline (toll-free number): 0800/99.340

A homeless person seems isolated when the thermometer is at its lowest? A person has lost their home and doesn't know who to ask for help? 0800/99.340.


Our helpline is active 24 hours a day, every day of the year to answer requests for help, accommodation and information, as well as to receive reports of people in distress.

Every day, we receive hundreds of calls and deal with social emergency needs in the Brussels Region. More specifically, our operators:

  • listen to people in distress in order to define the most appropriate intervention mode (accommodation, social information, sending a mobile team, orientation towards other services, …);
  • analyze reports of people in distress and transmit what interventions have to be undertaken to the mobile teams;
  • establish contact with the services to which the mobile team will direct the people taken care of (hospital structure, night shelter, PCSW, debt mediation service…);
  • ensure transport coordination between the various centers.

The toll-free number allows the collection of individual data, which is necessary for social support. It is the nerve center of the Samusocial and has a function of regulation between demand and interventions.


Anyone in need of shelter can call upon our services. Individuals are encouraged to report to us the presence of persons who appear to be in social distress.

Mobile Teams

In 2019, the mobile teams carried out 34,700 services and had 11,342 meetings with 1,791 different people.

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Every day and every night of the year, our patrol teams crisscross the streets of Brussels to provide emergency assistance to the homeless: listening, medical care, psychosocial support, transport and orientation to emergency accommodation centers.

Patrolling has four specific objectives:

  • Meet: getting in touch, “going towards”, a process that requires tact and professionalism when approaching the person.
  • Diagnose: assess the condition of the person from a medico-psycho-social point of view.
  • Care: provide primary care when necessary.
  • Support and guide: to our emergency accommodation centers and other services (social, medical, institutional).

_dsc7278_dsc7326_dsc7140_dsc7227As an interdisciplinary tool, the patrol team includes a driver, a nurse, a social worker and/or a psychologist:

  • The social worker: responds to the person’s social emergency by re-establishing a link and dialogue with them, helping them to formulate – if possible and if they wish – requests (accommodation, care, help with procedures, etc.). He/she seeks an immediate response to his/her request and to the needs identified.
  • The nurse: assesses the degree of medical urgency and adds a first medical diagnosis to the social diagnosis. If necessary, the person will be referred to either a medical consultation at our shelter or to the hospital.
  • The psychologist: integrates the patrol team to maintain contact with the most desocialized and isolated people. The objective is to recreate bridges with the world and with the society.


“The idea is not to create a street psychiatric treatment system, the idea is to put back into common law what everyone is entitled to in order to be treated. Because 60% of people who are on the street have mental suffering, or even psychiatric problems.” – Xavier Emmanuelli, President of Samusocial International.





Emergency reception centers

In 2019, 8,874 different people were accommodated in the Samusocial’s emergency reception centers.


Emergency accommodation comes into play in different types of situations. To date, people are being welcomed in emergency in our first line reception center, located in the city center of Brussels. Depending on their situation (single, ill, family with one child or more), the persons accommodated are then referred to other Samusocial’s centers (family centers, MediHalte center, Housing First program) or, oriented towards other associations active in the field of assistance to homeless people. In addition to emergency accommodation for the homeless, the Samusocial of Brussels is also appointed by the federal authorities to manage a humanitarian plan that allows the accommodation of 500 asylum seekers, in the two centers we have opened in the Brussels Region.

Emergency shelter for the homeless responds to:

  • specific crisis situations that do not meet with immediate housing solutions: domestic violence, arson, eviction, family problems, etc.;
  • situations involving chronic wanderers. For these people, the follow-up is spread out over time and must often include physical and mental repair work. Once the person is “back on her/his feet”, a work of accompaniment towards solutions to get off the street can begin.

Every accommodated person benefits from :

  • hot meals and breakfast ;
  • access to sanitary facilities (showers, WC);
  • psychosocial permanence: individual interviews with orientation towards other services (PCSW, social restaurants, social services, shelters, rest homes, etc.);
  • medical permanence: consultations provided by our medical and paramedical teams and by Médecins du Monde volunteers;
  • cloakroom service: managed by the non-profit organization Solidarité Grands Froids, offering a change of clothes.



In 2019, the Samusocial of Brussels offered 289,327 overnight stays to 8,874 different homeless people, including:

  • 5,787 single men
  • 864 single women
  • 2,217 family members, including 1,290 children

Psychosocial support

In 2019, 1,722 emergency exit guidance projects were opened.


If the social support relays the work initiated during the night in the reception center, its aim is to sharpen and deepen the social diagnosis made at night in order to define a support plan.

To sum up, the service of social accompaniment takes up the person’s situation as a whole and acts with the primary objective of recovering the person’s common rights, in order to develop a project that will allow him or her to bounce back.

Objectives of the accompaniment:

  • Rights recovery: Integration Income (IR), unemployment, mutual insurance, disability benefits, reopening of files, … The most frequent collaborations for the recovery of rights are mainly through the PCSWs of the Brussels-Capital Region.
  • Orientation towards a solution adapted to the person’s profile and situation (private accommodation, nursing home, medical structure, health spa, psychiatric institution, rest home, etc.).
  • Urgent social assistance (food parcels, meal vouchers for social restaurants, advances on next month’s allowances, etc.) and urgent medical assistance for people who are ill and have no health coverage.
  • Assistance and accompaniment in administrative procedures in order to help the person being followed to decipher the procedures used by the administrations and other social services.

In 2019, of the 1,722 orientation projects activated, 460 resulted in orientation towards emergency and/or street exit solutions.



Medical consultations

In 2019, 116,955 medical or nursing services were carried out during consultations in our centers.


Homeless people often suffer from medical problems related to living on the street. They do not usually see a doctor, even if they are ill. Their priority concerns are eating, shelter, protection from the cold and avoiding the insecurity of the street. As a result, more or less severe pathologies risk degenerating into serious illnesses.

The people accommodated in the Samusocial centers can benefit every evening from nursing and medical consultations. Our permanent center also offers daytime consultations. Our doctors and nurses play an essential role in diagnosing and referring patients to specialized services and ensuring continuity of care. Nurses monitor treatment in our centers as well as on the street, through the action of our mobile teams. In addition to the ongoing work of our medical teams, Médecins du Monde’s volunteer doctors and nurses hold consultations several evenings a week in our various centers.

When it comes to allocating accommodation spaces, priority is given to people who are ill or in need of care. Many people hide their health problems. It is therefore a proactive approach led by our nurses and doctors that makes it possible to treat chronic pathologies and to avoid having to go to hospital emergency units at night for treatment that is often possible on an outpatient basis.

The main illnesses encountered during consultations are nervous system disorders (including psychiatric disorders), dermatological problems, various pains and inflammations, disorders of the cardiovascular system, respiratory illnesses, etc.

Our MediHalte center also offers medicalized accommodation to 38 people whose state of health does not require hospitalization but care or a rest period.


“Consultation is not only about medical care, it is also a place to listen, which is very important for homeless people. They have a lot to tell us, their situation, their loneliness, the violence they face or the harshness of the street, especially when it is cold. Most often they have no family, few friends and no work. Some of them hide their precariousness from those around them, they have lost a job, a house and little by little, it is the social downfall. Sometimes the whole family is homeless, it is difficult to see children so destitute.” – Dr. Van Osta, Médecins du Monde volunteer.

Our various accommodation facilities:

Improve the person’s actual situation and lead her/him towards solutions to get off the street.



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