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The Hostel Principal & Head of the Church’ Cross Army in Sønderborg, Britt Gaarn-Larsen, was very enthusiastic about the great work that both the employees and the many volunteers do for some of the most vulnerable citizens in Sønderborg.
The church’s latest initiative is the Alma House, which is a residence for young homeless people aged 18-35 with no or a slight abuse and with the desire for change.
The Alma House offers temporary stays to people who do not have or cannot stay in their own home and who need a living space and an offer of activating support, care and possibly subsequently help. The young people who live in the Alma House are often, “forgotten children in all conditions of life”. They are unable to cope with ordinary everyday things such as bathing or taking out the rubbish.
The Alma House has room for 10 persons and when it opened in August 2018, all rooms were occupied within 10 days, and by the end of November, 38 people were on the waiting list.
Many of the young people have been in contact with institutions and pedagogues through their upbringing, and they can’t bear it anymore. Both employees and volunteers work to achieve the trust of the young people and help to create relationships between the young. The employees should not be perceived as educators, but just adults creating confidence and mutual trust.
The ultimate goal for the young is to be able to move to their own home and live a self-reliant life. The start of their new life is critical. Therefore, the Church’s Cross Army offers an aftercare according to the CTI method (Critical Time Intervention). An intensive time limited and focused effort that extends over a total period of nine months. The intensity is high at the beginning of the process and then decreases as tasks and responsibilities are transferred to the young and their network. Hopefully this is the start of a new life.
The Alma House received this year’s local donation, and we hope it will benefit the residents.
Most of us were pretty much concerned that so many needed the services of the Church’s Cross Army, and despite the great work, they can’t help everyone.
Britta Küseler - Sønderborg IW
Photograph shows the president Britta Küseler (to the right) presenting the donation to Britt Gaarn Larsen, the Church’s Cross Army (to the left).