Q8 not only champions structural changes but also supports individuals who need help to live an "inclusive" life in the quarter. How should we envision this?
Haubenreisser: Together with people eligible for German social integration support, the Qplus Project creates new types of assistance; their wishes are the starting point. Quarter guides support people with special assistance needs to shape their daily lives based on their own ideas – reflecting how they prefer to live, work or spend their spare time. The emphasis here is also a mixture of self-help, neighborhood, technical and professional support for people with special assistance needs. What can I do on my own, potentially with technical aid? How can family, friends, and neighbors support me? What kind of support is the community able to offer, for instance, clubs, initiatives or stores? What additional help from experts do I need? Plus, what am I personally able and willing to do to help other people? Incidentally, most often the issues focus on living and the living environment…
What exactly does that mean?
Oertel: I give you an example to illustrate this. After a serious illness, Ms. M. is in a wheelchair. She often feels lonely. With the help of the quarter guide, she figures out what’s important to her: she would like to both visit the free lunch at the senior center and a computer class plus she wants to spend more time outside her house. Until then, the 50-year-old was supported by an outpatient care service and an educational assistant yet she is still unable to leave her residence on her own. Thanks to the quarter guide, she finds 56-year-old Mr. T., who wants to get more involved with his neighborhood. This results in a friendship: they take walks along the Elbe River, visit the lunch room together or plan to go to the movies. At the quarter guide’s suggestion, the wheelchair gets a technical upgrade and becomes easier to push.
What does Q8 represent?
Haubenreisser: A cultural change is at least as important as the concrete, visible results in individual projects. We promote a culture of support, a place to meet and the chance to see contradictions, diversity, and conflicts as an inspiration to create new solutions. This also entails that people find the support they need in their community to be able to live independently in their urban quarter. That’s inclusion in action.