Social issues

Stëmm vun der Strooss seeks funding for jobs project

The Stëmm vun der Strooss creates jobs through food collection, processing and redistribution Photo: Stëmm vun der Strooss

The Stëmm vun der Strooss creates jobs through food collection, processing and redistribution Photo: Stëmm vun der Strooss

Luxembourg’s Stëmm vun der Stross is looking for funding to create 40 jobs to reintegrate homeless or underprivileged persons or victims of discrimination into the workplace.

The charity runs several projects to help people find their way back into the workplace, for example working in kitchens, cleaning, logistics or transport.

The Caddy Schweesdrëpp 2 project in Sanem will create 40 such jobs after receiving the green light from the government in July. The state will shoulder around €4.5m of the cost, with the charity looking to raise €1,411,000 in additional funding.

Around €90,000 have already been raised with a complete list of the items that the funds will buy available online. Fundraising will continue until the end of 2022.

Through the project, the Stëmm vun der Stross will also help prevent food waste, working with the Auchan supermarket to recover food that is removed from supermarket shelves to redistribute it or provide meals to those in need.

The charity expects to collect and process around 500 tonnes of food per year once the new centre is up and running. It currently recovers around 100 tonnes per year.

“Difficult year”

In 2020, the Stëmm vun der Strooss supervised 239 people in professional reintegration workshops although the pandemic meant that many had to stay home during lockdown, when the charity worked only with its employees.

“Throughout the lockdown, the association never had to close its doors and continued to offer access to food to all those in need by serving free meals,” the organisation said in a press release about its 2020 activities published on Thursday.

“Throughout the year, the Stëmm vun der Strooss served 101,190 meals” it said, not including the three-month lockdown when it did not keep statistics on meals served.

Like other restaurants, the Stëmm vun der Strooss was not allowed to serve customers indoors at its premises because of coronavirus containment measures. But it was able to secure funding to expand the terrace of its social restaurant in Hollerich to welcome more people. The project was co-financed by the health ministry.

It was also able to secure funding to rent bigger premises in Esch-sur-Alzette to allow distancing between diners.

More than 4,670 people used the charity’s services in 2020, which range from eating a hot meal and taking a shower to receiving clothes donations, consultation with a doctor and counselling.

The charity works with homeless people, beneficiaries of the guaranteed minimum income, former prisoners, asylum seekers, migrants and people with mental and/or drug-dependent disorders.

The number of people seeking help dropped by 4% compared to 2019, with the Stëmm vun der Stross saying the pandemic and lockdown measures had made it more challenging to reach those in need, calling 2020 a “difficult year”.