Homelessness is a global problem. In urban areas alone, it is estimated that 1.1 billion people live in inadequate housing conditions, 100 million of them with no housing at all. The solution to these problems is not simple. For many governments the primary objective is to help those in the most housing need; those sleeping on the street or in temporary/emergency accommodation. The solution starts with knowing who needs housing urgently, and identifying their needs.
Toward this aim, the Institute of Global Homelessness (IGH) and BSHF have organised an international workshop in Brno, Czech Republic on 9-10 December 2015. Working closely with the Brno City Municipality and the Platform for Social Housing, we will bring together leaders from six cities across three world regions to tackle a shared challenge: how can a city or neighbourhood know everyone living on the street or in shelters by name, with enough information to move them toward housing, and at very low cost?
We believe measuring homelessness is necessary to solve it. High-level counts allow us to understand overall progress, but many cities are eager to go further. Knowing the specific people experiencing homelessness in a neighbourhood by name, with detailed information about their needs, helps cities make good decisions and effectively allocate resources to end homelessness.
During the Brno workshop, each city will learn how to mobilise volunteers, organise and act on individual-level data with limited resources. Attendees from Brno, Chile, South Africa, England and Spain will bring expertise to specific challenges, learning from one another and building a plan to implement when they return home. For those from Brno, England and Spain, this work is supporting their efforts as part of a European Campaign to End Street Homelessness.