The response to COVID-19 has shown that it is possible to #EndStreetHomelessness.
We have seen what governments, local councils and NGOs have achieved, in different countries, in a short time during the pandemic – by bringing many of those sleeping on the streets ‘inside’. We call on local and national governments to sustain progress where it has been made, and for all countries to commit to finding permanent homes to those who find themselves homeless.
The pandemic is a reminder of how essential a home is for every single person worldwide. By home we mean accommodation that is permanent, sustainable and safe. Temporary measures are not enough – #EveryoneDeservesAHome.
The European End Street Homelessness Campaign backs the global No Going Back movement. Where progress has been made during the pandemic – there is no going back. Where excuses have been made to not act and solutions have only been temporary – there is no going back. Where little progress has been made, there is a clear way forward.
COVID-19 has reinforced the need for Housing First. People who traditionally have not engaged with services have ‘come in’, and we must seize this chance to provide them with sustainable housing solutions. Global studies into Housing First show that by making housing unconditional, and providing the right support in the right way, homelessness can be significantly reduced.
Homelessness has always been a public health emergency but the scale of COVID-19 – for those who are homeless and the wider public – proves we need to be bolder in our response.
Housing is a basic and fundamental human right. Housing support must be provided for everyone experiencing homelessness, regardless of support needs, gender, or immigration status.