Projecte Sostre

Projecte Sostre is a temporary shelter project for homeless men. The project is located in Barceloneta, a seaside neighborhood in the city of Barcelona. A team of volunteers, often residing in the same neighborhood, and a social educator, are organized to accompany these men who are homeless.


Projecte Sostre was an initiative selected in the 2020 call for the Holding the Key program.

Throughout almost 30 years of work, the volunteers involved in Projecte Sostre have organized themselves 365 nights a year to offer shelter and accompaniment to homeless men, the residents of the project.

Volunteers and residents share space and time together; during dinner, playing board games, talking, watching television after dinner, … Projecte Sostre has a social educator who, during the week, accompanies each resident individually in different aspects of their lives.

All the people involved in Projecte Sostre (volunteers, residents and educator) know a lot and have a lot to say about homelessnessvolunteeringsocial commitment and sustainability.

These were the actions that we carried out together with the members of Projecte Sostre. They allow an encounter with and a better knowledge of both the initiative and the people who form it:

After the first action, the “Collective Mural”, it was possible to extract experiences, ideas and key elements to integrate and take into account in subsequent actions such as the social contribution that the volunteers consider to be made by Projecte Sostre or the network with which they interact.

From the “Mural” 5 main areas were extracted. These areas were raised in subsequent actions and were developed and completed with the Sostre team: the motivation of volunteers, the durability of the project, the future of Projecte Sostre, what contribution it makes and social sustainability.

The second action was the interactive online workshop, carried out with volunteers of Projecte Sostre. Different dynamics were proposed to explore the aforementioned areas, for example, specifying aspects related to volunteering or social sustainability. Participants worked and contributed their vision and experience both individually and in small working groups.

At the same time, Lighthouse interviewed persons from the Sostre network, mentioned in the “Mural”, in order to obtain a broad and external view of the initiative. A total of 12 interviews were conducted with people from 9 different entities such as Arrels, Cáritas, Obra Social Santa Lluïsa de Marillac and social services in the area, among others. The conversation dealt with five aspects: the alliance and relationship between the entities and Projecte Sostre, contributions that Sostre is considered to make to society, what are the keys to its durability, projection of the future and, finally, ideas, suggestions and/or proposals for improvement.

The key action was to interview the residents of Projecte Sostre. A total of 10 men who are or had been part of Sostre were interviewed. We talked to them about the functioning of Projecte Sostre, why they went every night, what they found, what memories they kept, how they imagined Sostre in the future and what proposals and/or ideas for improvement they had.

Finally, the last action of the process was the “Sostre Caféevent, where different spaces were prepared for the final collection of contributions. The participating volunteers were interviewed and also worked on a final panel with statements, questions and quotes related to the project, collected throughout the process.

The cycle of support carried out with Projecte Sostre and the collaboration of the volunteer team, social educator, residents and their network, has allowed Lighthouse to understand, know and deepen its understanding of what Sostre does, how the project works and some of the keys to its success.

  • 6 places for homeless elderly men (residents)
  • Low-threshold resource
  • Active every day of the year
  • Small structure, low costs
  • Self-managed by volunteers
  • Coordination of 50/60 volunteers
  • Organization by work commissions
  • 2 volunteers accompany the residents every night.
  • The neighborhood prepares and brings the dinners every night.
  • A social educator attends to each resident from Monday to Friday, individually and personally.
  • Willingness to create horizontal relationships between volunteers and residents.
  • Sharing of dinner, chats, games and relaxation time.
  • 30 years of history
  • It remains in the neighborhood where it was born
  • It is a reference resource in the neighborhood and in the city
  • Volunteers can participate and get involved according to their availability at any given time
  • Flexibility in the involvement of volunteers
  • Detection of a local problem (homelessness)
  • Initiative created by neighborhood.
  • Involvement of the neighborhood in the project, including people from other localities
  • Support and collaboration network
  • Comprehensive care, a resource that goes beyond housing.
  • Promotion of justice and social transformation with concrete actions
  • Adaptation to the change in the profile of the people who are in a street situation
  • To cover in a continuous way the 6 places of Projecte Sostre
  • To achieve greater involvement in the global vision of the project by the volunteers, beyond the accompaniment of each night
  • To maintain the participation and involvement of the volunteers, with a balance between flexibility, breaks and motivation
  • Maintain the support network and continue to establish enriching and effective collaborative connections
  • Communicate its actions in different areas, promote the exchange on strategies and learning

Units of information

In the following we present the audiovisual materials. Lighthouse has prepared them from the experience and knowledge of the participants of Projecte Sostre, gathered during the support process. These videos allow to learn more about the initiative from the point of view of its members, volunteers and residents.