Earlier this month, our Danish member the Kirkens Korshaer together with other seven organisations has sent a set of recommendations to the Danish government to stop homelessness in Denmark. As the new parliamentary year started this month, the new plan aims to tackle the, albeit decreasing, still high numbers of homeless youth – still 72% higher than a decade ago.
In major cities such as Aarhus, Copenhagen, Odense and Aalborg, the number of homeless people has dropped significantly. This does not mean, however, that homelessness has disappeared. Quite the contrary: according to the recent surveys, one in three homeless persons is under 30 years of age, which shows that young persons are the most vulnerable group in society at risk of homelessness. So, given the experience of the field of our Danish member and the partner organisations, the set of recommendation will hopefully guide and complement government policy on the matter.
Recommendations start with the ambitious objective of eliminating homelessness in the next decade, in the sense that unfortunate instances of homelessness should be transformed in short-term periods with a positive outcome rather than being a long-term life condition affecting people. The organisations also call the government for a common strategy to tackle homelessness, as one of the mistakes of the past was to regard the issues as only regarding social policy. Instead, from the experiences of Norway and Finland -countries at the forefront in the fight against homelessness- it has become clear that integrated approaches comprising social, health care and housing solutions stand the best chances to ensure everyone in society as a roof on their heads.
Recognising that there is already a robust legislative framework in place to tackle homelessness, the document nonetheless outs special emphasis on Housing First solutions, i.e. giving homeless people immediate access to housing rather than the latter being the last phase of a step-by-step approach. Aside from the proven success of Housing First approaches, the eight organisation argue that this would best ensure compliance with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal number 11 which calls for sustainable and safe human settlements for everyone.
To read the full list of recommendations, please visit our member’s website.
To know more about our work on homelessness and extreme poverty, please visit our website.