Provider name

Associazione Auto Mutuo Aiuto - Trento



Reference person within the institution

Zilma Lucia Velame 

Key words

housing, education to autonomy


The project was born in 2009 with the name “Casa Solidale" in collaboration with the Municipality of Trento and the Mental Health Center of Trento (which had already started experimenting with co-habitations within the scope of the Fareassieme approach).
At that time a series of new needs began to take shape - such as the situations of precarious workers, lonely elderly people and separated people - who often did not find flexible answers in existing services and in which, the economic difficulties and poor social network, represented a risk of slipping in even heavier conditions of discomfort.
For this reason, the three proposing realities had begun to collaborate with the aim of imagining different types of answers and experimenting with new projects, not exclusively linked to the world of public services but starting from the third sector, which focused attention on the person.
The bet was that the philosophy and the methodology of the mutual self help, - to do for oneself and for others at the same time in the report - it could have relapses even when there were not only shared opportunities for confrontation about problems or problematic situations, but also everyday spaces of life.
Starting from the sharing of an existing home, the hospitality experience could represent one a form of personal and relational enrichment, but also a reduction in costs and inconveniences for the guest as for the host.
The project had immediately adopted an approach of networking, co-participation and co-planning among the subjects involved and Casa Solidale, initially developed in the municipal context, had been subsequently extended to the territory of the Autonomous Province of Trento.
Later, in 2014 in collaboration with the Agevolando Association, "Giovani per Casa" was activated an initiative in which the Casa Solidale methodology was applied to the specific Care-Leavers target. Finally, in 2017, Associazione A.M.A. he felt he had the skills to encompass the two
reality of Casa Solidale and Giovani per Casa in a single complex project: hence the launch of VIVO.CON.

Intended outcome(s)

The aims of the project can be grouped into two large areas:
1. the promotion of well-being through social support and the solidarity between people, within an experience of living shared, by:
- the exchange of resources between people and the integration of theirs need
the search for a housing solution for those who do not have an accommodation
- the creation of social networks
- the proposal of alternative solutions at low cost in the field housing in times of possible crisis (economic, social or personal)
- the growth and improvement of network work, empowerment and social support in community development, through:
- the offer of individualized answers and support for home care
- the provision of an added value compared to the social and housing projects of the Trentino region
- the promotion of self-help in daily and proximity relationships.

Established practice

Experienced operators of the A.M.A. take care of collecting the availabilities and requests for hospitality, through in-depth individual interviews that highlight the expectations and habits of life of the people interested in the project. For these participants, then begins a process in which they can see each other protagonists of the answer to their need, confronting themselves with reality and with the resources they have.
In situations where the desire to host one or more people is confirmed, the operators hold a home visit, in order to verify the suitability of the available spaces.
Secondly, based on the information gathered, meetings are organized that facilitate free acquaintance between those who offer and those who search for accommodation, with the purpose of understanding the motivations and needs of each and representing a space of confrontation on the expectations and doubts related to the cohabitation with a "foreign" person.
An important aspect is that these spaces of knowledge guarantee the freedom, for the people involved, of sharing and choosing.
In a third moment, meetings are held to deepen knowledge among people interested in cohabitation: the definition of the cohabitation project is therefore initiated and an agreement is signed in which the real protagonists are the subjects involved.
To the A.M.A. a role of communication facilitator is left that "monitors" the progress of the project with specific timing and methods depending on the situation, favoring the achieving common goals aimed at improving the well-being of the people involved.
At the beginning of the cohabitation there is a trial period: being host and guests of the agreement, they are offered the opportunity to experience listening and non-judgmental attitudes and to evaluate the adequacy and continuation or not of this experience. When possible, this process is leaded by the professionals involved in the process, mostlynsocial workers.

Conclusions and recommendations

The factors of the VIVO.CON methodology that seem to be most appreciated by the project participants are continuous and non-judgmental listening and individualized accompaniment.
Furthermore, the relational approach that creates flexible links, (people cohabit initially with specific objectives and circumscribed over time), is a prerequisite for acting in
freedom and for the awareness that participation in the project is commensurate with one's personal availability.
For VIVO.CON, the innovative effect of cohabitation and mutual aid is the transformation of "a fragility into a resource in itself and for others". It should be a great opportunity for care leavers, but is essential a intense network work among professionals. This work should start long before leaving care, in order to prepare the cohabitation both emotionally and concretely.

Additional information

Link to materials

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