Home au JUS

For two months the art space Au Jus was transformed into a home where we hosted and lived together with 15 Palestinian asylum seekers. At this moment there are hundreds of young Palestinian men living on the street in Brussels. While waiting for their asylum procedure the state does not manage (or want) to provide housing and basic care. Next to the practicalities of this project to get people of the street, Au Jus also was exploring an alternative to the disempowering service culture of state shelters, where guests have to follow curfews, are not allowed to cook for themselves, can not welcome visitors etc. - the argument is safety, the method is control.

This project is run in a self-organised way by giving the guests agency and a sense of belonging in their extremely difficult situation, a place to rest and heal. Challenges arise: fights, problems with neighbours, smoking, scabies, psychological issues, pain. The practice of care starts here from cultivating empathy and love through living together entangled: sharing the kitchen, sleeping in one room, eating from the same fridge, listening, being here. It is a different form of facilitation that is happening through sharing everyday life, through the heart, sharing also the pain and the discomfort. It makes it more difficult to forbid, to judge, to punish. Instead it is finding compromises, talking again, also being vulnerable, also getting hurt, holding the complexity - together. The project aimed at collectivising this form of care through inviting locals to come by, help us with groceries, eat together, spend time, listen and build connections.       


After offering a home to people for two months one can not send them back on the street. To provide a future housing for the group we therefore opened an occupied building in Brussels where we now moved together with them.

Our occupation is part of a bigger support network for Palestininas in Brussels. At this moment we host about 150 people in several occupied buildings. If you would like to support us send me a dm on instagram @dimitri_van_den_wittenboer. We always need extra people in the support team.

Monetary donations are also welcome and would help us to pay for energy costs, groceries and cleaning products.

If you want to donate please make a transfer to:

Asbl Warm Bed
BE36 7370 5477 0081
note: housing 4 palestine

Thank you!

Dimitri van den Wittenboer