Symbios - shared housing

2,000 Euro Prize 2021

Country: Czech Republic

Region: South Moravian Region

Sector: Civil Society / Social Economy

Fields of action: Unemployment, Mental health, Homelessness

Project owner: EkoInkubátor, z.ú.

Responsible person: Bohuslav Binka


Young adults leaving institutional care face difficulties finding housing, their first job, and building new relationships. The Czech Republic does not have a sufficient support system to assist young adults leaving institutional care. Without adequate resources or supportive relationships, these young adults are vulnerable to social exclusion and homelessness.


Symbios - shared housing (“Symbios - sdílené bydlení”) offers these young adults shared apartments with university students and support. Young adults leaving institutional care can live in a safe environment in the apartment for 4 years. They can establish new relationships, build new skills and perspectives from their peers and mentors.


The programme connects students and young adults who recently left institutional care. In their shared apartments, the young adults take their first steps in independent living, build relationships, learn to resolve conflicts, find and keep their first job. The connection between the students and young adults also builds tolerance.


After the programme, young people have a better understanding of themselves, establish work habits and greater social capital. They will have the skills to manage new situations and are resilient to vulnerabilities, such as addiction and crime.


The programme offers a comprehensive solution to support young adults leaving institutional care. In the future, we would like to expand the programme to other university cities in the Czech Republic.

Appreciation of the Jury

Care leavers share a flat with students provided by the city of Brno. A pleasantly balancing approach that begins by supporting young people with independent living. "Independent, but not alone" is the motto of this socially innovative approach. Through this programme, it is possible to prevent the high risk of homelessness faced by youth released from institutional care. The programme also offers psychological support. Symbios – shared housing originated as a project at Masaryk University in Brno, but it is now expanding into the world.