A Strengths-Based Assessment and Recommendations for Future Success
Prepared for EL Ministerio de Desarrollo Social de Uruguay
By the Institute of Global Homelessness
The Institute of Global Homelessness visited our partners, the Ministry of Social Development (MIDES), from 27 July to 2 August 2023. During this time, we toured a range of services, shelters, workforce development, and housing. We also took part in the homeless census on 31 July. During our visit, IGH identified many strengths including strong leadership from the central government, a sense of urgency from MIDES, coordinated outreach, real-time data, a booking system that works to provide emergency shelter spots for 100 percent of the people who want them, and a zero-tolerance policy for children living on the street. We also saw use of innovation and human-centered design leading to diversified programs that can meet different and specific needs.
There are opportunities to build on current strengths to positively change systems and further improve outcomes. These include:
- Grow multi-sector collaboration and expand partnerships with other government agencies, NGOs, academia, and people with the lived experience of homelessness.
- Report on high level indicators at least once a year including conducting a point-time street census, and report on outcomes across homelessness programs including quality metrics, feedback from clients, retention in different housing options, and outcomes for people with marginalized identities.
- Continue to advance housing models to focus more on long-term housing, affordable housing, rapid rehousing, housing vouchers and subsidies, and less on emergency solutions.
- Expand prevention efforts to include housing management and policy, tenancy support, social safety nets, health and other services, eviction prevention, discharges from prison, and preventing recurrent homelessness.
- Improve supportive services for mental health and substance abuse using principles of trauma-informed care and harm reduction.
IGH has committed to supporting the homelessness work in Uruguay through our Vanguard Country Agreement. We value our partnership and look forward to continued collaboration including implementation of any report recommendations.
Lydia Stazen, Executive Director, Institute of Global Homelessness
Julia Wagner, Program Director, Institute of Global Homelessness
As part of Uruguay’s recognition as a Vanguard Country by the Institute of Global Homelessness (IGH), Lydia Stazen, Executive Director of IGH and Julia Wagner, Program Director of IGH visited Uruguay from 27 July to 2 August 2023. During our visit, we met with the Minister Lema and the members of the MIDES team, Dirección Nacional de Transferencias y Análisis de Datos (DINTAD), and many other stakeholders. Site visits were organized by the MIDES team including: Viviendas con Apoyo en Euskalarria, Zorzal Centro de Ingreso de Mujeres con NNA, Centro Autogestionada Vilardevoz, Centro Medio Camino de Salud Mental Surpalermo, Centro de Capacitacion Ceprodih, Geronimo Piccioli de Mujeres con Ninos, Ninas y Adolescentes, Centro de Recuperacion Tarara, Comunidad Terapeutica Bethania, Centro Nuestros Hijos Nos Esperan, Centro Primera Atencion para personas en situacion de intemperio, and Casa Medio Camino de UPD. IGH observed the biennial census on the night of 31 July. IGH also met with Juan Pablo Labat who a parliamentarian advisor, Walter Ferreira who is the coordinator of Colectivo NITEP, and Juan Maria Abal, who is housing economist and social impact bonds expert. We would like to extend our warm thanks to all the organizations and stakeholders we visited and talked with us.
We want to share our sincere thanks to Minister Lema, Fernanda Auersperg, Gabriel Cunha, Lorena Jones, and Wilson Ferreira Sfeir for their efforts to coordinate and execute our visit, as well as to our translators and drivers for their support.