On March 21, our partner the European Federation of National Organizations Working with the Homeless-FEANTSA and the Foundation Abbé Pierre launched a new overview on homelessness and housing exclusion in Europe. The results are, as they put it “alarming, but incomplete.” Alarming, as homelessness is rising and reaching record numbers in almost all member states – incomplete as they can only rely on national data, because there is still a lack of comparable European data. This reveals how homelessness is still systematically overlook in the work of the EU. To raise awareness FEANTSA started the campaign “Be fair, Europe – stand up for homeless people” in which you can join with your ideas or testimonies under #BefairEU. The key points of their campaigns are:
- Making more effectie use of existing policy instruments
- Supporting homeless people in all relevant sectoral areas
- Monitoring homelessness and benchmarking progress at Member State level
- Defending the rights of homeless people
- Investing EU funds in ending homelessness
In the same struggle for the rights of homeless people Eurodiaconia members provide a mix of long-standing and innovative services for homeless people who often have complex difficulties beyond homelessness. These activities include, but are not limited to, emergency lodging, temporary housing, supported accommodation, permanent housing, health services, “reactivation” services toward employment, administrative support and preventive actions.
Eurodiaconia therefore works toward the reduction of homelessness particularly through advocacy for renewed investment into social services and housing and support to social innovation in the fight against homelessness.
In this framework, we have recently advocated a “right to shelter” to be included in the European Pillar of Social Rights, and we are currently monitoring EU initiatives relating to energy poverty and on how they relate to homelessness.
To know more about homelessness in Europe, check the new FEANTSA overview on homelessness and housing exclusion in Europe.