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Potentials of music therapy to promote health in the context of homelessness

More and more people in Austria are becoming homeless in Vienna alone, almost 12,000 people were homeless in 2020. These high numbers are contrasted by the limited resources of support services provided by employees and volunteers, who are often at the limit of what they can cope with. In this context, it is all the more important to develop initiatives that relieve the burden on those receiving support and those providing it.

The present project is dedicated to the question of the significance of music therapy offers in the context of health promotion for users as well as for staff in the context of institutions for homeless persons. Using qualitative, participatory and creative/art-based methods, we will work out together with residents/users and staff how music therapy activities can contribute to the health promotion of residents/users and staff.

For this purpose, a low-threshold weekly music therapy activity will first be established at the Obdach Wurlitzergasse, a "Chancenhaus" of Obdach Wien. In addition, in discussions and workshops with residents/users and staff also of comparable facilities their expectations and ideas regarding such an offer will be explored together. Based on these conversations and workshops as well as the general reception of the offer, the participative formats will be specified and adapted, if necessary. In this way, the central themes in relation to health promotion in the context of homelessness are to be worked out, the requirements for music therapy activities are to be derived from this and possibilities for realization are to be developed, tested and evaluated.

Project lead: Julia Fent

Project staff: Ute Glentzer

Cooperation partner: Obdach Wurlitzergasse

Project start: April 2023

Funding: Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft im Rahmen des PPIE Exploration-Calls

Funding amount: EUR 21,216

Contact: fent@mdw.ac.at