FAQs

SHADES TOURS offers socio-political education on polarizing topics such as poverty and homelessness. Maybe you know this little sting in your heart when you pass a homeless person. You’re asking yourself, “Did I react the right way?” or “What could I have done in order to help?” This feeling of awkwardness results from the fact that no one ever explained the issues behind the topic to us. And this again results in prejudices that do not help the social issue. SHADES TOURS hereby sees its mission to close this educational gap using our tours and activities as instruments. We operationally started in 2016 with the tours on the topic of Poverty & Homelessness, and gradually expanded to the topics on Refuge & Integration and Drugs & Addictions.

The SHADES TOURS tours are not classical sightseeing tours, but serve the socio-political education of the participants. On the tours on Poverty & Homelessness e.g. you will see places that are related to homelessness, but some stations also use the symbolism in the cityscape. For example, a park bench can become a symbol for “How do homeless people get a bed in Vienna?”. The tours usually run through the public space and do not involve a visit to a social facility. All the other tour topics apply the same strategy.

Yes, because honestly – who could explain such difficult issues better than people who have experienced it. So depending on the tour you chose, you will be guided by a homeless person, refugee or former addict.

We recruit our guides on the topic of Poverty & Homelessness while they are living in an unstable housing condition. We are particularly happy for our guides, who manage to get out of homelessness while working with us. However, that does not mean they need to stop to work for us – after all, they will still be affected by poverty.

Our Refuge & Integration guides have been granted asylum in Austria. They have experienced a great welcoming culture in 2015 and ever since see it as their duty to assist the integration process of refugees in Vienna, by providing background information on the different political conflicts that made them leave their respective country and the asylum and integration regulations in Vienna. This tour is about the hope of finding a prosper future in a new country.

Our Drugs & Addiction guides have successfully overcome their respective addiction. It was our crucial decision to only work with former addicts, as we wanted to make sure not to intervene a healing process or that the tours could result in a psychological trigger or relapse.

SHADES TOURS is not just about getting back into e.g. secure housing, but also back to the job market. This rocky path needs some time. Time that our guides at SHADES TOURS can use for social education to the tour participants.

We offer fixed booking dates for individuals in our webshop. For group or private bookings, any date can be arranged from four persons. Just get in touch with us!

What are the costs per tour?
Cost per adult € 18, – (including 20% sales tax)

Cost per students (university groups) € 15,-
Cost per student (via school, up to 19 years old) € 10, – (including 20% sales tax)
We also offer special family tours for the whole family.

For private guided groups, we offer a scaled prices:

  • one guide € 234,- (incl. VAT) for up to 15 persons
  • the second guide € 200,- (incl. VAT) for groups up to 30 persons
  • the third guide  €180,- (incl. VAT) for groups up to 45 persons
  • every additional guide  € 165,- (incl. VAT)

For individual bookers in the webshop or for groups via e-mail. For individual bookings can be paid directly through the online shop (creditcards or transaction), groups can be billed via invoice. Due to the cash register regulations, we are unfortunately not allowed to accept cash on the tour.

We recommend the tours from 14 years onwards.
For private groups, we adapt to the age of the participants. Normally we do tours from the elementary school age onwards.

There is a thin line between social education and voyeurism. However, we are repeatedly praised by participants and social workers for the balancing act. SHADES TOURS rejects social voyeurism, thus neither homeless people are on display, nor former beds of guides or other homeless people are shown.
Our tours lead through the public space – and your guide will be the only homeless person you’ll see on that tour.

Yes, all guides are employed by SHADES TOURS and are of course paid a salary.

SHADES TOURS works with committed guides, who feel that the project is a solution and want to educate society about homelessness.
We focus on the strengths and knowledge of our guides. Instead of emphasizing – as society does – what they can not do, the project highlights their knowledge and skills and transforms them into an employment model. The guides thus get a chance and opportunity to get involved in society. They get a job and a re-entry into the world of work. This results in a variety of financial, social and societal impacts for the guides themselves.

SHADES TOURS organizes presentations, tours and activities on the topic of homelessness and thus offers socio-political education. The knowledge of our guides, their strength, their openness and the passion to communicate will surely surprise you!
At the heart of “social entrepreneurship” is not the idea of profit, but an entrepreneurial spirit committed to the long-term solution of social problems. As a financially independent enterprise, it is solely in the service of the cause itself, which is why maintaining its own autonomy is always the highest premise.
The “Social Entrepreneurship” is characterized by innovation, participation and commitment with the aim of promoting a positive change in society. SHADES TOURS contributes to active poverty reduction and long-term job creation for “homeless-fringe groups”. From the tour revenues the SHADES TOURS guides are paid for their services and the running administrative costs for the project handling are covered.