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Many cities in Europe are experiencing a rapid rise in homelessness.  People that are unable to find temporary or permanent housing often have no choice but to sleep on the streets. This is a fate that no one should face.

Solving this problem is not easy, but experience tells us it is possible. We must start by identifying who is out there, and the nature of their needs.

Rais Fundación and its partners in Valencia are tackling this issue head-on.  They are pioneering a new approach, based on the successful Registry Week process developed in the United States.  A Registry Week involves large numbers of volunteers going out on to the streets at night, to meet people sleeping rough, and to ask them questions about their experiences and vulnerabilities.  It engages the public in finding new solutions to this urgent problem.

Valencia’s equivalent the ‘Homeless Meet Up’ runs from 19 April to 22 April.  More details about this are available in Spanish here.  You can also follow events on Twitter via #HomelessMeetUpVLC.

This work is part of a Europe-wide initiative being co-ordinated by World Habitat, working closely with FEANTSA and Community Solutions Inc.  The European End Street Homelessness Campaign is helping a number of cities tackle street homelessness, by applying key principles and proven practices.  More information about the campaign is available here.

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