How did SHADES TOURS come about?
Maybe you know this little sting in your heart when you pass a homeless person. You’re asking, “Did I act right?” or “Maybe I could have helped somehow?” Out of this feeling evolved SHADES TOURS. Unfortunately, we have never really learned to deal with poverty – and that’s why we want to close this educational gap with our tours and activities.
What can you expect from a SHADES TOURS tour?
The SHADES TOURS tours are not classical sightseeing tours, but serve the socio-political education of the participants. 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.
And these are led by homeless people?
All our guides start to work with us while they are. We are particularly happy with and 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. SHADES TOURS is not just about getting back into 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.
How long do the tours take?
Which booking models are available?
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 € 15, – (including 20% sales tax)
Cost per student (in the school group) € 10, – (including 20% sales tax)
We also offer special family tours for the whole family.
How is the registration done?
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 obligation, we are unfortunately not allowed to accept cash on site.
Is there a minimum age of participants?
We recommend the tours from 14 years.
For private groups, we adapt to the age of the participants, normally we do tours from the elementary school age onwards.
Why do the SHADES TOURS have nothing to do with voyeurism?
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. If (on request in advance) a social facility is visited, we determine through the close cooperation with the facility managers IF, WHEN and HOW their facility can be shown. If activities take place during the “official” opening hours, charitable added value through active participation is the reason. This is, for example, the supply of a hot meal on site.
What are the positive effects for the guides?
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.
Is it ethical to earn money with poverty?
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.
“… and this is done with our taxpayers’ money!”
As a social business, SHADES TOURS stands for a market-oriented and self-financing concept. The project does not need any donations. The only grants for which SHADES TOURS applies are dedicated social business grants.