13th October, 2016




On the occasion of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, Eurodiaconia calls on the European Union to undertake concrete and ambitious policy efforts to eradicate extreme poverty in Europe.  In particular the European Union should support Member States in addressing homelessness.  Homelessness has been on the rise in Europe since the financial and economic crisis, leaving a rising number of vulnerable people such as women, young people and migrants roofless and in severe need of support and protection.



Eurodiaconia’s members are committed to ending extreme poverty and have a longstanding track record in providing quality and effective services for homeless people.  Recently this experience was gathered into a report with recommendations titled ‘Effectively fighting homelessness in Europe: the role of social innovation and investment’.

Our report analyses the causes and needs of people who experience homelessness as well as the current state of play of homeless services and social protection systems in different Member States.  The experience of our member shows there is potential through social innovation and investment to effectively address homelessness.

Our report shows that addressing extreme poverty such as homelessness require sustained social investment.  In particular, our members cite the lack of social housing as a factor that pushes people into homelessness when experience poverty as a result of mortgage or rent arrears.  The same lack of social housing also reduces the possibilities for transitional or permanent housing options for people already experiencing homelessness.

Therefore, Eurodiaconia calls on the European Union to renew its efforts in ending extreme poverty and in particularly homelessness by supporting investment in social housing in Member States as well as into adequate social protection and integrated and innovative services that can address the multi-faceted and complex needs of homeless people.

Heather Roy, Secretary General of Eurodiaconia, stated: ‘Homelessness is a form of extreme poverty which can and must be ended. The right to social security benefits and housing assistance is enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (Article 34), and Eurodiaconia calls on the European Union to invest in policies and actions that would support Member States towards their implementation and the goal of ending extreme poverty and deprivation.’’

Eurodiaconia is a dynamic, Europe-wide community of social and health care organisations with direct experience in providing services to older people and advocating their fundamental needs. Our federation is committed to a Europe of solidarity, equality and justice. We currently have 47 members in 32 countries and territories who are churches and NGOs rooted in the Christian faith and working in the tradition of Diaconia.