The Association for the Homeless and Socially Vulnerable Persons Oaza (hereinafter: Oaza Association) was established in October 2010 with the aim of supporting the socially disadvantaged persons and reducing the incidence of social exclusion in the City of Rijeka. It was founded on the initiative of Terra Association staff and other interested individuals in an attempt to correct social exclusion, which has become increasingly strong among the beneficiaries we have come to know through Terra Association programs and the rise of poverty and homeless people in general.
We started our activity with a program aimed at preparing Roma children from the necessary accommodation of the City of Rijeka for primary school, specifically the Škurinje Elementary School, and continued with the program ‘Integration and Education’, a special educational procedure designed as a mentoring early intervention program for children from City of Rijeka’s social housing program, which aims to provide a positive behavioral model and create context for learning, playing and healthy leisure. It was initially funded by the Partnership and Civil Society Development Foundation, certain activities by the City of Rijeka and the County of Primorje-Gorski kotar, and since 2015 by the Roma Education Fund.
In response to the increase in poverty and the need for housing for increasing number of homeless people, in 2013, at the initiative of the Oaza Association and Terra Association, with the financial support of the City of Rijeka, Oaza’s Homeless Shelter was opened to provide users with temporary accommodation and basic living needs.
Recognizing the problem of extremely low accommodation capacities for homeless women in Rijeka, and the increasing need for them, in 2014, we started activities to establish the first Housing Community for homeless women in Rijeka and Primorje-Gorski Kotar County. The project was successfully implemented in 2015, and since then, with the financial support of the City of Rijeka, we have temporarily housed homeless women in the Housing Community.