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One of our homelessness partners, Brussels-based Infirmiers de rue, is holding a conference next month, aiming to end homelessness in Belgium for good. In this guest blog, Adrienne Van Vyve, from the project, talks about how they hope to do this.

Infirmiers de rue (Street Nurses) is a medico-social organisation convinced that ending homelessness is possible.

Since 2005 in Brussels, and 2019 in Liège, we have been contributing to this goal by providing sustainable housing for the most vulnerable homeless people in terms of health.

The organisation consists of an outreach team, a Housing First team and a team responsible for the creation and research of housing. In addition, it also develops awareness-raising and advocacy activities in order to achieve a paradigm shift from managing homelessness to ending homelessness.

Infirmiers de rue has rehoused 170 people since its founding and helped, in 2021, 208 people.

Challenges need to be addressed

To achieve this paradigm shift, several challenges need to be addressed:

  • The lack of affordable, sustainable and quality housing
  • The lack of integration solutions for the growing number of illegal or undocumented people (notably due to the war in Ukraine)
  • The past and future impacts of the Covid and energy crises on the number of homeless people
  • The lack of prevention measures

To address those challenges, Infirmiers de rue has organised the conference “From Dream to Reality: The End of Homelessness in Belgium” which will take place on 14 October at the KVS in Brussels.

Committed to ending homelessness by 2030

Belgium has committed itself, via the Lisbon Declaration, to developing targeted policies to end homelessness by 2030.

What will this strategy look like? When will it be developed? When will Belgium start working on it? This conference wants to be a first step in that direction.

In several panels, practitioners, academics and policy makers will address the four main pillars necessary to a comprehensive plan to end homelessness: Data, Housing, Support and Prevention. The conference will be a hybrid event (on-site or online) with translation provided in French, Dutch or English. The programme and registration are available via this link.

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