In 2018, we assisted 2,368 people, some 24% more than in the previous year. We assisted more than a thousand of these people for the first time, and more than 1,900 used the Open Centre’s basic services and guidance. The street team visited 528 people who slept on the street and we secured accommodations for 239 people. Here, we share the data from the 2018 report and we explain how we have continued to move forward to make #nobodysleepingonthestreet possible!

We focused on people

  • We assisted 2,368 people, 1,042 of them for the first time.
  • This number represents a 74% increase in people assisted from five years ago.
  • The majority (98%) were men and 11% were women.
  • Since the creation of Arrels in 1987, we have assisted 13,024 people.


We took to the streets

  • We visited 528 people who lived on the street in Barcelona. In total, we have made 5,064 visits.
  • The street teams cover six areas in Barcelona: Ciutat Vella, Eixample, Sants-Montjuïc, Gràcia, Sant Andreu y Sant Martí. We also have a mobile team for specific high-vulnerability cases in the rest of the city.
  • In Barcelona, a thousand people live on the street, according to the count organized by Red de Atención a Personas Sin Hogar de Barcelona (XAPSLL) in May 2018, in which Arrels participated. Ciutat Vella, Eixample y Sants-Montjuïc are the three areas of the city with the largest homeless populations.
  • In June, we went out and interviewed people living on the street in Barcelona in the census of homeless people, and we talked to 315 people.

We provided housing

  • We have arranged 71,593 nights of accommodation.
  • 239 people were housed during 2018 with the support of Arrels.
  • We continued to provide stable housing. In total, we have managed 92 homes, 72 of which are individual.
  • We have confirmed that low-demand spaces meet the needs of people who have been living on the streets for a long time and who have not found another housing alternative. 41 people slept in Flat Zero in 2018, and 54% have improved their situation to a more stable resource.


We offered useful services

1,963 people used services in the Open Centre, 26% more than the previous year and 94% more than five years ago.

  • A total of 858 people used shower services.
  • A total of 1,082 people used the wardrobe.
  • 566 people stored their belongings in the cloakroom (Barcelona does not have public locker services for homeless people).


We  treated

  • We helped 331 people gain access to the healthcare network, mental health services and addiction services.
  • We offered psychological support to 35 people, in both individual and group therapy.
  • We accompanied 25 people who left us during 2018. On average, they were 62 years old, 22 years younger than the rest of the population in Barcelona.


We worked as a team


  • Arrels’ work would not be possible without our team of volunteers. In 2018 we had the support of 380 volunteers who participated continuously in care services, but also gave support in administrative tasks, maintenance, awareness and communication.
  • Other people provided seasonal help during the summer months and at Christmas, or have participated in the census of people who sleep on the street in Barcelona. In total, 1,128 volunteers worked with the organization throughout the year.
  • The continuation of care has been provided with the help of 64 staff members with different backgrounds.
  • Thanks also to the 4,747 members and donors and the 254 businesses and legal entities that have supported Arrels projects.


Clear accounts

The total income for 2018 was 3,690,502.60 euros.

  • Public funding: 33.29%
  • Private funding: 66.71%

76.74% of the budget was directly invested in assisting the homeless people we accompany, especially in meeting housing and social support needs (55.12%), in first-time reception services (15.59%) and in the workshop (6.03%).


Moving forward to make #nobodysleepingonthestreet possible.

  • Dogs in the Open Centre. In 2018, we consulted, established protocols and equipped the Open Centre to accommodate homeless people who have pets.
  • A workshop with more opportunities. We expanded Arrels’ workshop so that more people can use their time in a more useful way and to generate new projects and opportunities.
  • A play in the Lliure Theatre. We went on the Lliure Theatre stage with a collaborative production of Sis Personatges – Homenatge a Tomás Giner (Six Characters – A tribute to Tomás Giner) starring people who live or have lived on the street.
  • Counts in Catalan municipalities. We helped 11 municipalities organize counts to find out how many people live on the street. We also created a helpful guide about how to conduct a count.
  • More people living in flats. Citizen collaboration allowed us to put 13 new flats in place. In 28, we managed 92 homes, 72 of which are individual.
  • Exchanging knowledge. We expanded our knowledge of the Housing First model with other European and North American organizations, assessing and sharing knowledge.


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