“Domus et Labor” Foundation for Helping the Unemployed and the Homeless

We are dedicated to help all those in need of physical and life supportin Piaseczno (44000 inhabitants) and district Piaseczno  (166000 inhabitants) (near Warsaw, Poland).
Our mission:
- Preventing unemployment, reducing its size and combat the effects of
- Help the unemployed in a difficult financial situation and their family members
- Conducting courses to upgrade their skills in the labor market
- To take steps to obtain their own homes
- Help the homeless
- Help prisoners and former prisoners - Support for food, clothing and home furnishings

our biggest projects

The main aim of this project was to inspireunemployed people to make their presenceon the labour market felt throughthe founding of social cooperatives. Suchcooperatives are based around the individualwork of members, there being an autonomousassociating of people who seek tomeet overall common need via the activityof a jointly-owned and democratically controlledenterprise.The more specific objectives includedthe stimulation of entrepreneurial attitudesamong participants, and their acquisitionof knowledge on social cooperatives as such,the founding of at least 3 such cooperatives in Mazowieckie voivodship, the devisingof business plans therefor, and the submissionof applications for support for the furtherdevelopment of entrepreneurship.The project participants were unemployedpeople from the poviat of Piaseczno orelse from the neighbouring city of Warsaw,the requirement being that they had not runtheir own business (“engaged in economicactivity”) in the 12 months prior to application.28 people were accepted, of which 25set up five 5-person groups generating ideasfor the activity to be engaged in and showingwillingness to enter into cooperation witheach other.The first stage of the project was a trainingand consultation phase extending to316 hours in total. In the course of theclasses this entailed, business plans weredrawn up and then submitted to a specialcommission. One group disintegrated inthe meantime. The work of the commissionthus saw four business plans accepted, andthen four cooperatives established underthe names of Pedagogiczna SpółdzielniaSocjalną „Baby Boom” (the “Baby Boom”Pedagogical Social Cooperative, SpółdzielniaSocjalną Artystów „UAD” (the UAD Artists’Social Cooperative), Spółdzielnia Socjalna„Prainka” (the Prainka Social Cooperative) and Spółdzielnię Socjalną „Osa” (the OsaSocial Cooperative).A second phase then featured training inaccountancy and work on a computer givenover 140 hours, as well as consultations regardingthe running of a social cooperative(322 hours). Five editions of seminars seekingto promote the services of the newlyemergedcooperatives were also run.To pursue activity further, each of the18 participants obtained a one-off investmentgrant, as well as half a year of bridgingsupport (two people were not in receiptof funding). The said grant was of 20,000 zł,while the bridging support was at the level1200 zł per month. Means from the grantwere used for equipment purchases foreseenin the business plan, as well as forthe renovation of premises hired. The bridgingmoney in turn went on rent payments,social insurance contributions and promotionalmaterials. Any money going unusedwas designated for further consulting, orelse was allocated in the form of a further6-month period of bridging support for14 participants (at rates ranging between500 and 1200 zł/month).
What each and every Citizen should know
Project initiator: “Domus etLabor” Foundation for Helping the Unemployed and the Homeless
Project value: 1 247 060,00 PLN
Financing from ESF: 1 060 001,00 PLN
Realization period: 1.03.2011 - 28.02.2014
Website: www.poradnictwopiaseczno.org

Ignorance of the law can do , and in the case of the non-affluentpeople, with only primary or secondary education, often sick, elderly, oftenhelpless – can do twice as much harm. The simplest legal issues becomea problem: what does this official letter mean? Where to go for helpwhen the husband drinks alcohol and beats the wife? How to fix lunch forthe child at school? Where should I file for alimony?In Piaseczno Province, almost 5 thousand people take advantage of socialaid. The majority of them has never turned to a lawyer, for example, only15% of the Municipal-Commune Centre for Social Aid in Piaseczno soughtlegal counsel. The surveys show that 10% of the people questioned saidthat they know the rights they are enti-tled to in a satisfactory level. How to help such people?“Domus et Labor” Foundation for Helping the Unemployed and theHomeless within the project “What each and every Citizen should know”decided to provide the poor in a difficult situation with the access to freelegal and citizenship counsel in the years 2011-2014.It was assumed that over the course of 3500 residents of the PiasecznoProvince would take advantage of the free legal counsel during the project.The counselling points were organized in Piaseczno and in the fiveneighbouring communes (Lesznowola – Magdalenka, Konstancin Jeziorna,Góra Kalwaria, Prażmów, Lesznowola – Szkolna).For persons that are dependant on the care of others, for the elderly orthe disabled, for whom it is impossible to get to the counselling points forvarious reasons, the counselling at home on request is also available. Thedates of home counselling can be arranged during the office hours or byphone at the Centre of Citizenship Counselling and Legal Information inPiaseczno. Counselling is also provided by e-mail, by mail and by phone.9 information-promotional campaigns are planned, accompanied by 33issues of a bulletin and newsletter containing key current legal information.What do the clients ask most frequently about?The questions usually concern housing issues, family issues, social benefits,employment and unemployment, interpersonal relations, financialissues, consumer issues, disputes between citizens and institutions, disability,violence in the family, writing responses. Which difficulties did you encounter during theproject’s realization?Counselling and information is provided in a language that is simple andunderstandable, while maintaining complete confidentiality. The counsellordoes not do anything for the client. It is the client who decides whetherto take the action and which solution to the problem the client selects.Some clients find it difficult to accept this rule. However, thanks to thisrule, people start to learn to be independent.Apart from that, the problem has been mostly alleviated thanks to intensivepromotion of the counselling rules and changing the name from the“legal counselling” into “citizenship counselling and legal information”. What can be recognized as the biggest success ofthe project?Good legal counsel has changed the lives of many people. Through a correctdiagnosis, sometimes even eliminating the problem, prevented seriousproblems, and sometimes tragedies.The statistical data on the topics of the counselling will make it possiblefor the communes to design and realize the social policies correspondingto the needs of the residents in terms of housing, family, social aid orpreventive policy and combating pathological behaviour.An undisputed value is the fact that 3,500 people will receive professionallegal counsel, probably for the first time in their lives. The project will increasetheir sense of safety and decrease their sense of helplessness in life.Thanks to access to free counselling, the level of legal culture of the residentsas well as the awareness of the citizenship rights will increase. Atthe same time, the idea of free legal and citizenship counselling will becomea part of the landscape in Piaseczno and its neighbourhood. Thecommunes’ local governments are involved in the realization of the project.The expectations of the residents and the experience gained by thecommunes in the course of the project allow us to state that it is likely thatwe will find relevant organisational forms and funds to continue the ideaof free counselling in the future.
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