During 2019, a total of 428 homeless people moved into permanent accommodation – including 137 into Housing First units – due to the work of organisations in cities across Europe taking part in the European End Street Homelessness Campaign, co-ordinated by World Habitat.
As detailed in Our Impact 2019 Report – published today – the campaign has helped to develop new Housing First projects in Croydon and Torbay. In addition, 755 volunteers took part in activities, including Connections Weeks in Bratislava and Brighton, where over 650 homeless people were given the opportunity to talk about their situation and the support they need.
Learning exchanges brought together campaign cities across Europe to share their experiences of effective approaches to end street homelessness. The campaign also funded training for people with lived experience of homelessness so they can take more active roles in the way homelessness services are run.
The report is published in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the approach of the European End Street Homelessness Campaign over the past few years has helped organisations to respond effectively. Patrick Duce, Programme Lead for Homelessness at World Habitat, said:
“The work of our European End Street Homelessness Campaign partners has helped prepare local partnerships for the community responses we now see.
“In many parts of Europe, people sleeping outside have been given temporary accommodation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, whilst in others, outreach and support teams are working to protect people who are still on the streets.
“In all cases, we should be proud of the community networks that have come together to save countless lives. The partnerships formed through our campaign between civil society, homelessness organisations and local councils have helped pave the way for these responses.”
Louise Winterburn, Deputy Chief Executive of World Habitat, said:
“Our campaign shows that communities themselves can take the necessary steps towards addressing some of the most pressing homelessness challenges.
“As this report so powerfully demonstrates, when communities come together, we all have the ability to make a difference and create the changes required so that everyone has a home of their own with the right level of support.
“World Habitat is committed to building on the initial impact of our campaign, providing resources and bringing together like-minded people – to learn, share and act to end street homelessness.”
Our Impact 2019 is available as a free download.
Read Patrick Duce’s blog for his reflections on the campaign’s impact and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Image: Juan Lemus