Innovative approach lowers threshold of social integration - Arnhem, the Netherlands
Poverty, social isolation, loneliness, addiction or a person's lack ofconfidence in the social environment or their own potential. With the SocialSpearhead Plan 'Over the Threshold', the municipality is hoping to provide asolution for these problems. The starting point of the Social Spearhead Plan isto facilitate social integration, based on unorthodox methods, by tacklingintensive, (long-term) unemployment, youth that has gone off the rails andsocial isolation in an intensive, result-oriented way.
The aim of the project is to increase social cohesion in the area bypromoting social and economic participation, particularly by vulnerable groups,and strengthening social (network) structures. Subsidiary objectives are:
- To clarify structural neighbourhood problems in relation to the socialinfrastructure;
- To provide an example for other parts of Arnhem and embed the project'sresults into the social structural plan for other parts of the city;
- To create instruments for the Province, the State and other relevantorganisations to make funds and means available in a structural way to deal withsocial problems in urban districts.
The approach is aimed at a limited number of target groups ((long-term)unemployed, (problem) youth, elderly people living alone, and groups thatpartially overlap each other). Via a scheme approach and case management, theapproach is aimed at:
- withdrawing individuals out of the target groups in the relevant area in oneor more schemes for the purpose of controlled supervision, leading towards aparticular, individual goal;
- achieving maximum results through house-to-house visits with the targetgroups by the project leader;
- the project officer acting as intermediary between the inhabitants of theneighbourhood and the social services. After completion of the project theinhabitants will continue by themselves.
Improving people's socio-economic position by a demand-oriented, integralsupply per household. This requires investment geared to command of thelanguage, education and social skills, social participation, work and income,safety, health and welfare. The project is helping the inhabitants to improvetheir physical and social environment and their economic participation.
European subsidy: € 182.490
Total cost: € 436.607
This project has been partially funded with Objective 2 funds. Since 2000nine cities have been eligible for the Objective 2 Urban Areas in theNetherlands programme, which forms part of the European Fund for RegionalDevelopment (EFRD) of the European Union. EFRD is one of the four StructuralFunds of the European Commission. The programme helps cities to carry outprojects that benefit disadvantaged areas.
In the Netherlands, total European Objective 2 subsidies concern 192 millioneuros. 4.25% of the Dutch population lives in the selected areas.
The European Commission prescribes that for every euro from the EFRD, aminimum of one euro must be contributed from the government. The cities musttherefore add their own public or private funding to the European subsidy. TheEuropean programme is linked to the urban plans agreed within the context of theurban policy of the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations. For this,the cities can make use of funds that have been allocated to them in the contextof the national urban policy.
Arnhem Kern - local programme management
tel. +31 26 3774575
By: Bart Nijhof,