The principal researcher of this researchproject is Dr. Nienke Boesveldt. She works at the research group Political Sociology at the University of Amsterdam. Dr. Boesveldt’s research interests include vulnerable groups, homelessness, governance, public (mental) health, interventions, social policy, social innovation, social economy and comparative studies. She has worked for municipalities for 15 years on processes for social relief, day care and protected and living policies.

This dual background of researcher and policymaker is currently of great value for this research and this position contributes to the social value of the scientific work. Dr Boesveldt understands the circumstances (and the pressure) that policymakers encounter in their daily work. She organizes regularly, and for different target groups, workshops, lectures and seminars on studies on the governance of homelessness and attaches great importance to building a bridge between scientific knowledge and policy practice.


Maarten Davelaar (political scientist) is associated with the research as a trainer / researcher. Together with Nienke Boesveldt he has set up the training for the researchers, who are also experience experts and their university duo researchers. Besides that, he supervises the training meetings. He frequently works with participative (action) research and is initiator of the PAja! This is a method for participatory inspections in which users of care and welfare facilities play the leading role. As an independent researcher he works with, among others, Utrecht University, Hogeschool Utrecht, Verwey-Jonker Institute, municipalities, housing corporations and social organizations in the social domain.  He is also the project leader of the Development Workplace Mixed Living in which residents, professionals and administrators develop new insights into innovative housing projects where (also) people live who have lost their grip on life for a longer or shorter time.


Marte Kuijpers (MSc) is part of our team of academic researchers. She completed her master’s degree in Social Policy and Public Health at Utrecht University with a study into the social context for repeated homelessness. Her interest in the research was fueled by her previous work experience at a work collective for (threatened) homeless people in Nijmegen. Over the past two years, she has interviewed many stakeholders and clients in various municipalities. She hopes that the research will bring client-user experiences and policy closer together.


Julie Hopmans (MSc), is part of our team of academic researchers. Last year she graduaded from her  Masters Sociology at the University of Amsterdam with a specialisation in Gender and Sexuality. Her thesis’ subject is on the influence of interviewers and peer-interviewers (experts by experience) on the stories of the female clients. Previously, she obtained a bachelor’s degree in international development in Wageningen. During her studies she gained interest in qualitative research methods and the improvement of the quality of life of people surrounding us. Contribution to this project creates a very interesting combination of those interests.


Marieke van der Star (MSc) is involved in the project as an academic researcher. Upon completing her research master’s degree in Urban Studies at the UvA, she gained a great deal of expertise about the Dutch urban housing market and conducted research into the perceived connection of local residents with their living environment. Before working on this project, she gained experience in a research project on the housing of migrants. Within the project she is particularly interested in policies and practices concerned with housing and notions of home. 


Juul Mulder (Dr.) is involved in the project as an academic researcher. With her background in psychology, she obtained her PhD from Utrecht University in 2008, researching the role of music preference in the psychosocial development of young adults. In the years that followed, she conducted years of research into the quality of judicial behavioral interventions, including the theoretical underpinning, implementations and goal achievement. She also recently worked as a caseworker in a facility for sheltered housing for people with double diagnoses. Her experience both in research and in practice make her a valuable addition to the research team.


Ronja Reijngoud (MSc) is involved in the project as an academic researcher. During her research master in behavioral and social sciences at the University of Groningen, she researched the labor market integration of refugees and the ways in which Dutch municipalities can stimulate further integration. Within this project she is particularly interested in the role work and participation in recovery. She is also enthusiastic about (helping) tackling social problems through research and the involvement of client-user perspective in this process.


Merel Otto (MSc) is involved in the project as an academic researcher. During her master’s degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology at VU Amsterdam, she researched the experiences of young adults with psychological problems in Lagos, Nigeria. Her interest in the project is driven by her passion for psychological health and her goal to use knowledge and theory for practical approaches to social problems.




Charlotte van der Veen (MA) is involved in the project as a researcher. She has a background in Literary Studies and Cultural Analysis and is particularly interested in the interaction between mental health, society and policy. She has previously conducted research into the relational conceptualization of pain and ‘madness’, among others in the context of the Dutch recovery movement. After completing her studies, Van der Veen worked at various organizations in the social domain where experiential expertise is an important theme. Based on these work experiences as well  her own experiential knowledge, she endorses the added value of participatory research and the collaboration with co-researchers by experience in this project.


Anuschka Erkemeij is pursuing the research master Urban Studies at the University of Amsterdam. Starting in June she has been involved as an intern in research into homeless young adults in The Hague. Here she will mainly focus on interviewing young adults and coding these interviews. In addition, she will write her thesis about the experiences of homeless young people with regard to different (temporary) housing forms and how these forms of housing can contribute to a feeling of home.


Lonne Hintzbergen (MSc) recently graduated from her Master’s degree in Sociology (Migration and Ethnic Studies) at the UvA. During her bachelor period she gained relevant experience in the field of migration, refugees, ethnicity and diversity. She taught Dutch to Syrian refugees, she was a social counselor at Refugee Work and she was involved as a buddy student at InclUUSion at the University of Utrecht. In recent months, Lonne has been involved in research into undocumented elderly people.


Our duo-researchers 


Robbert Brouwer is expert by experience and currently works as a determined supporter at the Lumen Foundation in Leiden. Here he visits people at home who have bad experiences with mental health care, people that can not long be housed in protected housing due to the current policy transitions, or people who’s behavior is often labeled as disturbing (of which Robbert rather thinks it is misunderstood behavior). Next to that Robbert also provides information as a trainer at the applied university in Leiden and evenings organized by mental health institutions for family members of people with ADHD, OCD, autism and addiction issues. Robbert has followed many official courses and is a truly motivated expert by experience. He executes his work with a lot of joy and is determined to keep on working in different facets of psychiatry.


Edo Paardekooper Overman, is an active experience expert. After a ‘homeless period’ of about one and a half years, he became active as advocate, co-researcher and ‘mystery-guest’-trainer in the lives of people who excluded by our society and sometimes even expelled. He works together with other experience experts throughout the Netherlands and sometimes even at European level. He is currently involved in the so-called ‘Multi-Year Agenda Assisted Living and Social Services’ 2018-2022 as board member of the ‘Stg. Workshop COMO, which stands for Clients Organizations Social Care.


Through a personal experience in a psychiatric setting eleven years ago, Helen Urbanowitz-Kloppenborg knows how important it is to receive good support during and after a period of hospitalization in order to learn to stand on your own two feet in society. After completing courses on working with your own experiences, Helen is now actively working as an experience expert. She does this both as a passionate duo-researcher for this research project and as a companion for people with a psychological vulnerability. In addition, Helen uses her qualities weekly as a supporter of informal caregivers in the Haarlem region. Helen believes that as an experience expert you can empathize well with people in similar situations, thereby elevating the conversation and eventual research finding. 



Angelique Brouwer, due to a past with traumatic events and after several years of treatment in Mental Health Care, started to use her experiential expertise. She decided to follow courses and trainings to learn to work with her own experiences. Angelique has successfully completed this. She currently works at a client organization that is committed to people with a (psychological) vulnerability in society. She also is active as an interviewer in the research, because she wants to dedicate herself to  ‘vulnerable’ fellow human beings and improving their participation in society.




Thijs Kuiling is an energetic and passionate expert by experience from Arnhem. He has experiences with trauma and confusing behaviour. During his experiences with mental health care, he missed the connection from person to person, apart from the diagnoses. He finds it very important to listen to someone’s story and experience and to enable someone to make their own choices. Thijs hopes that policy concerned with vulnerable groups in society will be focused more on the individual, enabling them to  determine for themselves what is good for them and making their own choices. 


In the past Sonja Bosch has worked as a researcher in the laboratory and as a veterinarian for companion animals. Through personal, life-disrupting experiences she went through a long recovery process from the world of psychiatry. By sharing these experiences, listening to the stories of others and by following a training as a counselor/experiential expert in mental health care, she is currently working as an experience expert in mental health care. For her, every story behind the disruptive experiences remains captivating and intriguing. In addition to her research work for this project, Sonja is currently working at Lysias Advies. 





Wim Eickholt introduces himself as a teacher, tour guide, divorced man but also ex-homeless and ex-addict. He has written on his experiences on the street and in rehab in two books. He now uses his experience and the two books to dispel stigmas and misconceptions about people on the hard shoulder of life at schools, festivals but also in the media to a wide audience. He is very happy to be involved in this project. It really helps to see a human: “It is not an addict but a HUMAN with an addiction problem!”





Stan Coldewijn is 62 years old, father of three children and lives with his fiancée Ellen. Stan has a background in technical engineering. After a very serious burnout, he became alcohol dependent. This resulted in the end of his company, marriage and a path of about ten years within various institutions. He has been living independently for three years now, abstinently, and he works – quite broadly – within the psychosocial domain. Currently, Stan is involved as an enthusiastic duo researcher in the Living Lab research case in Utrecht.




Wilma Beltman has many years of experience in the social domain as a Master in Social Work, first as a caregiver and later as a researcher, teacher and project leader. She worked as a freelancer for various municipalities, institutions and universities of applied sciences. Her last assignment was the development of a regional recovery network in the Gooi and Vecht region in the Netherlands. Wilma knows the importance of a practice that, together with those concerned, improves bottom up. That is why she now uses her own experiences to test policy with the residents that it actually concerns.




Peggy Demilt is a passionate experiential expert full of curiosity and interest in others. Out of great curiosity, she has gained a lot of knowledge through recovery support courses and various studies. She has worked in addiction support and floating support worker for mental health care. She also works as a duo researcher at the UvA. “I think I’ve been lucky to be able to cooperate in this fun way in identifying problems/obstacles and confirming what is already going very well. This in order to create a better and safer living environment for everyone in a (hopefully) inclusive society.”

 

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