Since the refugee crisis reached its apex in October 2015, Elpida Home has engaged in a constant innovation process to provide and improve humanitarian services.
Since our conception in 2016, we have achieved our goals by looking beyond basic needs, sustaining hopes as well as life, while remaining cost-efficient and sustainable. Such an approach is essential in the refugee response in Greece, as the shift from emergency response to long-term solutions continues.
Elpida Home financed the conversion of an abandoned textile factory into a welcoming residential centre, including private resident rooms, a communal kitchen, shared bathrooms, distribution areas, classrooms and recreational spaces. When families first arrived from other camps around Greece in Summer 2016, they found that their new accommodation comprised of rooms with doors that locked, proper beds with mattresses, bedding, tables and chairs, refrigerators, and heaters. From the tents they once inhabited, residents now found themselves in a proper - if austere - home.
In addition to providing shelter and safety, and sourcing basic needed items, Elpida Home coordinated camp services, including healthcare, education, psycho-social support (PSS), and legal assistance. Working with a coalition of onsite service providers, Elpida Home ensured that residents enjoyed a full-time onsite clinic, school, adult education, counseling, and legal support, as well as recreational activities and classes. Elpída Home was uniquely suited for vulnerable cases, including woman-headed families and individuals with chronic illnesses.
In its provision of food and non-food items (NFI), Elpida Home has sought to re-imagine delivery systems give recipients greater participation, choice, and quality. This approach led us to build resident-run food distribution and the construction of an onsite shop that operates on an internal credit system.
The Elpida Home Reception Center, helped house, rehabilitate and relocate 400 vulnerable refugees from Iraq and Syria to their European destinations, over the course of the project’s duration (2016-2017)
Our organization and facility, pioneered the approach to service provision and camp coordination, operating under the principles of co-design and co-implementation. By prioritizing the opinions of those in need, we were able to provide the necessary and appropriate resources and facilities oriented around these identified needs. In doing so, we were able to secure community participation and give back dignity and agency to those most vulnerable. When residents would leave Elpida Home to go on to their assigned country of relocation or reunification, they would take with them a skill and trade which would aid them in finding employment and contributing to the local economy and labor market.
As of January 2019, we have launched a community center in downtown Thessaloniki, servicing vulnerable communities through a variety of services.