The European End Street Homelessness Campaign is a movement of cities that believes that everyone deserves a home, and that the time has come to stop managing homelessness and start ending it. They are working together to permanently house Europe’s most vulnerable people and end chronic street homelessness.
It was set up in 2015 by the Building and Social Housing Foundation (World Habitat) at a time when, despite numerous efforts by governments and charities/NGOs, homelessness – and in particular street homelessness – was increasing across Europe. This trend has continued.
Over the last two years World Habitat has worked with different cities to launch the campaign locally. The European Campaign has achieved some early and inspirational successes in a short time:
- 1,000s of individuals who are homeless and sleeping on the streets have participated in a survey that helped to identify their needs and aims to improve their access to housing
- 1,000s volunteers have taken part in conducting street surveys during local ‘Connections Weeks’, demonstrating the commitment and concern of local residents about the most vulnerable members of their communities
- the survey findings are being used to improve commissioner and charity strategies and services, and speed up access to housing for those individuals sleeping on our streets
The Campaign has now grown to ten cities throughout Europe, and partners have recently joined from:
- Alicante (lead partner: ‘REAPSHA: La Red de Entidades para la Atención a Personas Sin hogar’): A network of 15 NGOs will be running the campaign in Alicante with backing from the City Council. RAIS, who leads the Valencia campaign, will use their experience to offer technical support. It is intended that the campaign will advance city discussions on Housing First as a solution to street homelessness.
- Brighton & Hove (lead partner: Brighton & Hove Council), where more than 1,000 people sleep rough every year. The local vision is to work together to make sure no-one has the need to sleep on the streets in Brighton & Hove by 2020. They will be holding their Connections Week where local volunteers go out to meet those on the street in November 2017.
- Leicester (lead partner Action Homeless on behalf of the Leicester Homelessness Partnership): the local campaign is part of a coordinated approach to tackle street homelessness by supporting those on the streets to address complex problems and access sustainable accommodation.
We are currently looking for more cities to join the campaign. If you are interested in getting involved you can find out more here.
David Ireland, Director of World Habitat said: “The European End Street Homelessness Campaign is a growing movement of cities that are dedicated to ending street homelessness. I warmly welcome Brighton, Leicester and Alicante and the local organisations and communities working with them on the campaign. Their commitment and determination is inspiring, and will help the Campaign overall in taking important and necessary steps towards ending street homelessness across Europe.”