We worked with homelessness charity Hogar Sí (formerly RAIS Fundación) from 2017 to 2020. They now continue to work with a national focus, advocating for policy change to end street homelessness in Spain for good.
What did the campaign achieve? The city of Valencia held the first ever Connections Week of the European campaign in April 2016. Over 280 people volunteered, and worked in 41 teams, many of which included a ‘peer’ – a person who had or who was sleeping on the streets. There were 404 homeless people found sleeping on the city streets, with 268 completing the survey. The data showed some significant issues relating to health. More than one-in-ten (12%) people had become homeless due to their physical health and more than one-in-four (27%) had chronic health issues affecting their major organs. More details are in this report.
Following the Connections Week, a meeting between Hogar Sí, the Mayor of Valencia and the regional government led to the announcement of a Housing First pilot being launched in the city.
They have since developed their Housing First programme, Habitat. So far, the programme has supported over 360 people into secure accommodation in 22 different municipalities across Spain, including Valencia. Their work focuses on listening to the needs of people experiencing homelessness and supporting them into the homes which are right for them. In this video, Mario, Libia, Josep, Ramón, Slavey and Pepe explain how Housing First has helped them.
In 2019 Hogar Sí focused on advocacy. Their proposals to end homelessness in Spain were published to coincide with local, regional, national and European elections, to get homelessness on the political agenda. They also met with the Spanish Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, to secure his commitment and influence national homelessness initiatives.