Santé  Mentale  et  Exclusion  Sociale

 Mental  Health  and  Social  Exclusion  

European net-working  for  People  living  in conditions of
Extreme Poverty and with severe Mental Health problems

S M E S - Europa

is an European Network  of professional and voluntary people working in health and social field, for and with homeless people living in conditions of poverty / extreme poverty, connected with health and mental health problems.

The European SMES project began in 1992 in Rome as a result of the first European seminar (December 1992) on the appalling neglect and abandonment mentally ill people living as homeless in extremely poor health and social conditions.

The Association was constituted as an International non-profit Association in 2001.  (AISBL Belgian law 1919)

Our aim is to improve the physical, mental and social conditions / wellbeing of homeless and socially excluded people and so to promote the respect of their human rights, individual dignity and social inclusion.


Target  and  Main  Focus

Our specific targets are:  people living in  extreme poverty  conditions on  the  streets, shelters, squats, with  specific attention to :

  • mentally ill people without adequate assistance,

  • young people at risk losing their profitability,

  • elderly people who have been abandoned: homeless at home ...

  • undocumented migrants at risk of rejection and exclusion.

Our initiatives and projects  promote :

  • Better coordination of services

  • Better joint work between voluntary (NGO) and statutory (governament, municipal) services

  • Development of « outreach » skills

  • Better awarness, within professions, that effective work is possible in this area

How do we work?

SMES talks with and learns from front-line workers and service users, we then:

  • Improve physical, mental and social well-being

  • Promote respect of human rights, dignity and well-being for people living in extreme social and health poverty

  • Facilitate access to citizenship rights, to social and health services

  • Promote inclusion : participation & solidarity with a special attention for homeless people

  • Raise awarness of best practices

  • Stimulate professional and academic and interest in such work

  • Net-working  and link with other European bodies in related areas

  • Support  local, national & european politicians engaged with these issues 

What do we propose ?

Heightening of awareness for all civic society trough adequate information with media

Networking : improving synergies and opportunities of working together, workers of health and social sector, public & private

Education & training: permanent & continuum, promoting exchanges and evaluation Lobbying and advocacy.

  • 2-yearly European conferences. Professionals, volunteers and service users from across Europe meet toghether with local politicians and social administrator

  • Exchanges and study visits between projects in different european countries

  • A Europe-wide programme of service improvement


WHERE & WHAT  are the true causes?

  • The poverty, as social exclusion, as homelessness in Europa, despite national differences, it's an   European structural problem of our society.

  • Number of people living below the poverty line and in social exclusion in the Union is unacceptable... The TRUE CAUSES of poverty and social exclusion are far from being eradicated  in Europe.

  • When the person has lost everything, and  also hope on the future, them does not remain other that to survival on the street where he will be: without  right  -  home   -   health   -   hope  and DIGNITY

  • These persons remain as a constant challenge and a troubling  sign not only of the economic crisis, but also  of values crisis which underpin our democracies - values such as the social cohesion, the solidarity based on  respect of individual rights, the equitable access to resources and services.

  • Homelessness is an affront to every value that we assign to the concept of CITIZENSHIP
    Homeless, are among the most marginalised in our communities  

  • All persons have the RIGHT to the best available mental health care, which shall be part of the  social  care  system.

  • The stigma  and  discrimination, related to the mental disease, are long-lasting