The UIA team in Landshut with Dr. Kurbel and Prof. Dr. Jörg Fischer (source: Wieslawa Waberski)
The corona pandemic meant that the first contacts between the employees in the home and care project in Landshut / Germany and the UIA expert Prof. Dr. Jörg Fischer took place exclusively online. The exchange of information and initial agreements were possible, but getting to know each other personally, encountering the local structures on site and an intensive discussion of the project content and its goals had not yet been done.

The project team member Ms. Wendel has been with the project since the start of the project and said:

For me it feels like a real start with a complete team and hopefully no longer such a restrictive corona pandemic.

The joint steering committee on September 22, 2020 offered the opportunity to participate in getting in direct contact with those directly involved in the project and to understand the project. These encounters give rise to first insights that contribute to a better understanding of the project.

The project team as the core of home and care

The project team of the city of Landshut is now complete. In addition to a project manager, there are other committed people who:

  • are familiar with the planning of buildings and tenders in construction,
  • are fit in the field of financial management and
  • are interested in the external communication of the project.

In this multi-professional team, many competencies are combined that are necessary for successfully mastering this demanding project. All those involved are united by the strong connection with the city of Landshut and the aspiration to do something sustainable through the UIA project for people who are disadvantaged and who do not have a large lobby behind them to stand up for their interests. Landshut as a prosperous city shows with this project that social cohesion is and will remain the central pillar in the city. A city in which everyone is thought of and in which solutions are sought for changing living conditions, for example in the compatibility of family and work and the strengthening of professions in which there is a lack of skilled workers.

Backed by the city

Another important prerequisite for the success of the project is the support of the project team by its own management. Dr. Matthias Kurbel is an experienced social officer behind the team who is fully committed to the project. A great advantage for the project is how intensively the head of the social department has been involved in the project from the start of the application and how interested it is in how it will continue. In view of the company's own aspiration to look for innovative solutions to better integrate single parents affected by poverty into the labor market, the support of the municipal management is of great importance. At the same time, a bridge builder to politics is needed.

Involvement of civic society actors

A third structural feature, which is necessary for the success of the project, is the involvement of actors from medical institutions, vocational training and associations that support single parents in Landshut.

Dr. Kurbel put it in a nutshell when he said:

Without the partners involved, we as a city are not in a position at all to set up such offers for single parents and their children. We need the ideas, the access and the commitment of the partners in order to implement our common idea.

From the perspective of the accompanying expert, a group of active people seem to be in Landshut who all have the same goal for different reasons i.e. to develop forms of work and living in order to offer single mothers without training a way into employment or to offer participating single caregivers with training flexible childcare, which enables them to work full-time again in this professional field characterized by shift work. This is supposed to enable a better work-life balance. The reasons for participating are heterogeneous:

  • Hospitals are desperately looking for employees and are ready to embrace other work models in order to give single parents better access to the care sector.
  • Independent organizations like the ZAK e.V. want to break new ground to offer childcare options with which single parents can start training in an educational or caring profession and ensure the well-being of the children despite difficult working conditions.
  • The city is looking for innovative models to offer single parents alternatives to long-term unemployment and financial dependence.

It is now a challenge for everyone involved in the project to  find and develop an idea into a networked togetherness in which long-term cooperation is possible and motivation is maintained over the long term in a mixture of professional and voluntary commitment.

The steering committee meeting on 29.09.2020 in Landshut (source: Wieslawa Waberski)
The steering committee meeting on 29.09.2020 in Landshut (source: Wieslawa Waberski)

The new challenges

The ambitious concept provides for the construction of a residential complex in which single parents live next door to each other. This is intended to give children of single parents the chance to receive care that is compatible with the requirements of the labor market. At the same time, the nursing staff should be able to flexibly combine their own working hours and the care needs of their children. While child minders are provided to take care of the children, single parents should, in addition to their own professional activity, complete training, especially as child minders, which allows them to find qualified employment. Before the residential complex can open, however, many questions have to be clarified and hurdles have to be overcome.

For example, it is of central importance that no offer is created that only concerns the target group involved in the project, but rather that talks to those affected in order to design the offer and shape it in the interests of single parents.

In addition, there are further challenges in the design of the scientific support to better identify the needs of people affected by poverty, the assessment of the development of poverty in Landshut and the development of ways to get into conversation with those affected at an early stage. The aim should be to develop not a project FOR, but a project WITH people affected by poverty. Stay tuned to find out how!

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Landshut, Germany Small sized cities (50k > 250k)
About UIA
Urban Innovative Actions

The Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) is a European Union initiative that provided funding to urban areas across Europe to test new and unproven solutions to urban challenges. The initiative had a total ERDF budget of €372 million for 2014-2020.

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