3. t-alk' and 'City' – low-threshold meeting places for a diverse clientele
The low-threshold drop-in centers City and t-alk were designed as meeting places for people with mental health problems and/or severe alcohol use disorder. At t-alk, the consumption of alcohol is permitted. The aim is to ensure access to a protected space and to stabilise the physical and psychological situation of the clients. As part of a low-threshold help system, the two shelters are attractive to a wide range of clients. Although, there are many regular clients, they are increasingly used as a temporary solution during times of need.
With a focus on building supportive relationships with clients, the two facilities provide services to meet basic needs and deliberately keep access to the institution very low-threshold. Clients are offered an alternative to staying in public spaces and have access to social exchange and counseling. Furthermore, one of the core tasks is to refer clients to appropriate services for their individual problems.
In a voluntary setting, people choose for themselves which services they use. Facilities that offer low-threshold access must be well networked and be able to adapt to the current needs of their clients as quickly as possible. In a system that includes many institutions specializing in specific problems, there is a need for facilities such as t-alk and City, which can be used as a fallback place from where clients can be motivated to use other services.
How can the city of Zurich maintain the standard it has developed and shape its offerings to meet the needs of its clients well into the future?