Have you ever slept under a cardboard box? Probably not. However, for thousands of young people in the Netherlands, living on the street is hard reality. SZN, the foundation for homeless young people in the Netherlands, is trying to do something about it.
This is the reason a unique project has been initiated in the form of the Le Clochard quilt cover. The cover is printed with the image of a cardboard box folded open. A large proportion of the proceeds from Le Clochard goes to SZN. The income is used to fund housing projects which prioritise support for young people in finding work or continuing their education. So by sleeping under a cardboard box, you can help a homeless young person out from under one.
The initiators of Le Clochard are Erik van Loo and Peggy van Neer. They market Le Clochard under the name SNURK (it means ‘snore’ in Dutch!).
Most people in the Netherlands are aware that there are homeless adults in the country. But unfortunately there are also many young people on the street. The Health and Welfare Ministry estimates there are at least 5000 homeless young people. And accommodation is available for only one in ten of them. What’s more, support services are fragmented and young people are at risk of falling through the net.
Homeless young people have often been through a lot and have a range of problems. Apart from food and shelter, they need skilled support. When they finally have accommodation and have had the chance to get their breath back, they receive support in living independently, and finishing their education or looking for a job.
SZN hopes this quilt cover will help raise funds for homeless young people and draw attention to their plight. Because many people still react with surprise or even incomprehension when they hear there are homeless young people in the Netherlands. By buying Le Clochard, you’ll be helping a small, young organisation that urgently needs your support.
By buying the Le Clochard quilt cover you help homeless young people in the Netherlands. Because the more quilt covers are sold, the more homeless young people SZN can help.
With the proceeds from Le Clochard, more projects for homeless young people can be realised and supported. Over the past years, with SZN’s help 10 hostels have been set up, in Amsterdam, Breda, Enschede, Haarlem, Leeuwarden, Nijmegen, Roermond, Heerlen, Rotterdam and Tilburg. With extra financial support the cooperation between local authorities, schools, employers and housing corporations can also be improved.
By ordering Le Clochard you also help raise awareness of homeless young people in the Netherlands. We live in a rich country and we should be ashamed that we don’t offer this group of young people a place in society. What’s more, homeless young people really want to improve their lives. They’re young, hopeful and energetic. The only thing they lack is a helping hand.
You can help by letting your friends, family or colleagues know about Le Clochard. Please go to our tell a friend page. And if you live in the Netherlands and you’d like make a contribution to helping homeless young people, contact SZN. On the SZN site you can also find ten interesting and usefull sleep tips.