• Stem in de Stad, Haarlem

    Thijs Wolzak

The transition from the welfare state to participatory society is underway in the Netherlands. In practice, this means that citizens can count on less and less help from the government and must either handle things themselves or call more frequently upon their social networks. In relief work, too, the focus is increasingly shifting to empowering people to solve their own problems.

Stem in de Stad (Urban Voice), an ecumenical diaconal center located in the Vincentius-Carré complex in the historic heart of Haarlem, is the joint initiative of several churches of different denominations. The center provides a safe meeting place for people in difficult situations such as the homeless, the socially isolated, and those out of work after a burnout. A café where a free hot meal is served three times a week, a homeless ministry, and a debt-relief buddy program bring together those who need help and those who can assist them. Through these initiatives, Stem in de Stad hopes to strengthen people’s mutual sense of connection and increase self-reliance.

Adessium Foundation is helping the organization create a solid financial foundation so that it can continue to provide immediate assistance to a growing group of visitors.

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