DoucheFLUX works to improve the well-being of homeless people and other at-risk groups by organising ACTIVITIES and EVENTS, and providing SERVICES. In March 2017 it will open a day centre with showers, laundry facilities and lockers for homeless people. This will be a major milestone in DoucheFLUX’s programme of socially innovative measures, which has so far relied entirely on private funding. At the end of 2010, Collectif Manifestement, a cultural and artistic happening, brought together a group of homeless people and people working to overcome poverty and social exclusion to discuss the needs of homeless people in Brussels and the obstacles they faced. It soon became clear that the capital of Belgium and Europe suffered from a chronic shortage of showers, lockers and laundry facilities. The existing facilities were either inadequate, too expensive for poor people to use, or subject to entry conditions which kept the homeless out. There was also no centralised information service to help people find their way through the multitude of social organisations active in Brussels. These conclusions led to the founding of DoucheFLUX, a not-for-profit association, at the end of 2011. The people behind this new association made it their business to provide the services that the poor and the homeless sorely need. In March 2017 DoucheFLUX will deliver on its promises: its new building, located near the Gare du Midi/Zuidstation railway station at rue des Vétérinaires 84, in the municipality of Anderlecht, will finally open its doors. The 650 m2 building has been thoroughly renovated and will contain 20 showers, laundry facilities, 450 lockers, and an information desk, alongside services provided by partner associations involved in the fight against poverty. It will allow the least privileged in society to dust themselves off, pick themselves up, and make a fresh start. The activities that DoucheFLUX has been running since May 2012 (On Air radio programme, DoucheFLUX Magazine, film debates, DoucheFLUX Meets Schools, and most recently the board game) will also be coordinated from the new building. The aim of all these activities is to help homeless people regain their energy, dignity and self-esteem, as a first step towards empowering them and allowing them to reintegrate mainstream society. The values underlying DoucheFLUX’s work are autonomy, cooperation, social and cultural mixing, mutual respect, and transparency. In addition to giving a voice to the underprivileged, DoucheFLUX seeks to raise public awareness about social exclusion by organising think tanks and other events (with or without an attendance fee). It cooperates closely with the Brussels social services.
The Shift helps members to make use of the global framework of the UN Sustainable Development Goals to map their societal ambitions.
17. Partnerships for the goals
DoucheFLUX is a participatory social project, reaching out to a variety of partners in both the private and public sectors. We aim to achieve a balanced budget based on solidarity. So far all operational costs have been covered by private funds. Expenditure has been kept down thanks to the motivated volunteers who give their energy and expertise to the association. However, in order to provide a stable and efficient service when the building in Anderlecht opens, permanent staff will have to be hired to work alongside volunteers. We plan to cover our operating costs through three almost equal revenue streams: affordable charges for the services we provide; government subsidies; and receipts from fundraising campaigns and sponsorship agreements. In accordance with the operating schedule set out in our business plan, we intend to achieve this objective by the end of 2018. DoucheFLUX strongly favours social and cultural mixing, both within its team and through partnerships with a wide variety of individuals and organisations. It aspires to evolve from a 100% private initiative into a public-private partnership, and to use co-creation as a tool for bringing out the best skills and synergies.
10. Reduced inequalities
Feelings of exclusion are common among the homeless and underprivileged. DoucheFLUX aims to empower and promote the social inclusion of all people, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status.
6. Clean water and sanitation
Hygiene is a prerequisite for well-being and dignity: developing facilities which allow the homeless and underprivileged to take care of their own personal hygiene responds to a basic need. Everyone in this world has a right to take a shower.
1. End poverty
Providing unconditional and affordable access to showers, a laundry service and lockers to all men and women who need them.
11. Sustainable cities and communities
Providing access for all to adequate, safe, and affordable basic services. This is the most effective way of enabling individuals to gain the confidence, motivation and energy they need to find their way in life.