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|Project:||Social enterprise and rehabilitation (Social Laundry)|
|Program Area:||Community Mental Health|
|Date:||15-03-2009 / 15-03- 2010|
|Donor(s):||Dutch Embassy in Bulgaria|
The aim of the project is to increase the quality of life of people with mental illness and their direct environment by developing an opportunity for them to obtain and maintain a job, thus actively being involved in social life. Introducing a supported employment scheme for mental health users decreases the economic burden of mental illness on society. This is a program for vocational rehabilitation and its role is to facilitate the formation of a supportive environment, which would help people with severe mental illness develop working skills. The ultimate goal is social reintegration through participation in the labor market. Clients who due to their condition have been psycho-socially incapacitated, but are willing to participate in social life through work, could make use of the program. Accompanying goals of the initiative are to develop job-searching skills and skills to keep a job.
The establishment of the project's organizational framework: recruitment of coordinator, administrator and technical organizer; procurement of the needed technical equipment; design, production and distribution of advertising materials; approaching potential big clients of the social enterprise; ordering environment friendly bags and consumables of the program with the logo of the program; training of the potential beneficiaries; selection of the potential participants in the program; job-keeping skills training; service delivery; selection and hiring of staff; on-the job training; on-site support; consultations of the management; developing a tool for working with employers
The realistic ambition of the team is to maintain the complex of services for at least 10 years. The building of the complex is given to GIP-Sofia with gratuitous right of use till 2017. In addition, the Sofia Municipality (through the Agency for Social Assistance with the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy) has included the services offered in its budget and will start financing the Mental Health complex in Slatina via the state budget as of June 2009. The laundry, in particular, as an affirmative social enterprise, based on real needs, can rely on adequate support from both corporative business, institutions and other donors and has all chances to become a first step to a more gainful employment opportunity. This process is in line with the municipality's Mental Health strategy and action plan, adopted by the City council of Sofia in April 2008. The Complex has a written agreement with the New Bulgarian University and will provide internships and supervision for students from Clinical Social Work, Clinical Psychology and Family Therapy programs. The users who will work in the complex will be hired via the Employment agency and different employment opportunities that the Government offers will be used.