Homelessness and the New Urban Agenda

Last month, IGH joined 30,000 participants from 167 countries in Quito, Ecuador for the third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III).

Homelessness and the New Urban Agenda

Following four days of workshops, high-level consultations and a village of interactive exhibits, United Nations member states formally adopted the New Urban Agenda.

The United Nations describes the New Urban Agenda as “an action-oriented document which will set global standards of achievement in sustainable urban development.” Practically, the New Urban Agenda lays out a vision for cities, a set of guiding principles, and a number of commitments meant to bring them to life.

Commitments in the New Urban Agenda cover varied ground, from transportation to renewable energy. Throughout the past year, the Institute urged our peers to work with their national delegations toward including a commitment to ending unsheltered homelessness – and to actively measuring and evaluating progress.

Though the New Urban Agenda falls short of including this specific, measurable goal, the following transformative commitments offer a clear call to action for governments around the world:

  • “We will take positive measures to improve the living conditions of homeless people with a view of facilitating their full participation in society and to prevent and eliminate homelessness, as well as to combat and eliminate its criminalization.”

  • “We commit to promote national, sub-national, and local housing policies that support the progressive realization of the right to adequate housing for all.”

The Institute is eager to support cities as they take on this daunting work.

We welcome this clear commitment to reducing, ending, and preventing homelessness everywhere in the world. Now comes the hard part – ensuring all of our neighbors have a place to call home will take courage, and we’ll need to hold each other accountable.

Measuring and ending unsheltered homelessness

The Institute partnered with the National Alliance to End Homelessness and FEANTSA to host a networking event on measuring and ending unsheltered homelessness. Speakers included Nan Roman of NAEH; Maria Aldanas of FEANTSA; Alexia Suarez of the University of Puerto Rico and the Latin American and Caribbean Homelessness Network; and David Ireland of the Building and Social Housing Foundation.

The event drew over fifty participants, who learned about the IGH Framework, measuring homelessness across Europe and Latin America, and garnering public engagement and political will to tackle complex social problems.

The Institute looks forward to continuing this conversation, and to working alongside leaders across the world to give the New Urban Agenda life on the ground.

Connecting Threads: The IGH Leadership Fall Convening

Nairobi, Bratislava, Chennai, Hamilton, Waterloo, Santiago, Budapest, Brno, Tshwane. These cities have different foods, different customs, different styles of dress. They believe, sometimes, in different religions. Their governments are bound by different constitutions.

But the IGH Leadership Program cohort from each of these cities agreed on one thing: the street is not a place to live.

The cohort met in Chennai, India for the second of three convenings. The first convening, in Chicago, featured a curriculum that focused on Agile Problem Solving and innovation facilitated by Community Solutions. At the meeting in Chennai, Community Solutions’ curriculum mixed technical know-how with opportunities to exchange ideas and discuss how to overcome specific programmatic hurdles they were encountering in pursuit of the long- and short-term goals they’d committed to in Chicago.

“Homelessness work doesn’t exist in a vacuum,” explained Mrinalini Ravi, who works for the Chennai-based nonprofit The Banyan. The Banyan works specifically with people experiencing homelessness who are also mentally ill, operating facilities throughout the region. One such facility, known as The Balm, provides permanent supportive housing for older women.


At the IGH Leadership Program’s first convening in Chicago, Mrinalini and her IGH Leadership Program partner (and coworker at The Banyan), Preetha Krishnadas, committed to a short term goal of getting voter ID cards for all the patients in one of their facilities; they were happy to announce at the fall convening that they had achieved that goal, obtaining voter ID cards for 138 mentally ill clients.

This is a major milestone for both The Banyan and for persons living with mental health issues, as this is the first time in Indian Politics that a person living with a mental health issue in an inpatient setting has been given a right to vote. It also come at a time when the Indian government is debating a Destitution Bill which would decriminalize homelessness in the country, and according to key constituents whom Preetha and Mrinalini have interviewed, being recognized as an Indian citizen with a right to vote is one of the most critical elements to fostering their personhood and political identity.

“The law is for people experiencing homelessness,” Preetha pointed out. “We should hear their feedback.”

Common Problems

Those working in the homelessness sector hear the phrase “homelessness is a local problem,” a lot, and to a great extent, it’s true. The specific issues facing Mrinalini and Preetha in Tamil Nadu, India are not necessarily the exact same as those facing Marie Morrison and Amanda DiFalco in Ontario, Canada.

But each team in the IGH Leadership program has faced obstacles that are familiar to anyone working in the civil sector: lack of resources, conflicting public opinions, and a deficit of political will.

“Kenya is one of the fastest growing countries in the world, and one of the richest in Africa,” explained Rodgers Omurambi of the Centre for Empowerment and Life Transformation in Nairobi, Kenya. “But it’s not looked at as ‘homelessness.’ It’s looked at as ‘street life.’ People think of it as a choice. We have to find a way to adjust attitudes.”

The Bratislava and Budapest teams are also working on campaigns to change the tide of public opinion. Luca Koltai from Habitat for Humanity Hungary in Budapest is working under the peculiar conditions of having ten times the amount of vacant privately-owned homes as there are people living on the street–but the stigma around homelessness, and lack of housing benefits and social rentals, turns empty homes unaffordable for people experiencing homelessness.

In some places, the issue is a government that is often in flux; in others, government is too long-standing and set in its ways. Vit Lesak, from the Platform for Social Housing in Brno, Czech Republic, helped start a network of people who had previously experienced homelessness to find their strengths and figure out how to better serve those still on the street.

“We learned it may be better to organize our own networks than to rely on a stronger and more rigid partner like the government,” Vit explained. He shrugged. “Politics are messy.”

Isabel Lacalle and Karinna Soto from CalleLink in Santiago, Chile took a similar route. Between the last convening and this one, they teamed up with colleagues in Brazil and Puerto Rico to form the Latin American Homelessness Network, which had its first meeting in June. Their goal is to strengthen communications across borders and create an inclusive environment where NGOs and governments can work together.

Common Solutions

Local problems can have global roots–and global solutions.

For example, Wilna de Beer and Joel Mayephu, from the Tshwane Leadership Foundation in Tshwane, South Africa recently used the VI-SPDAT, a North American intervention by OrgCode Consulting and Community Solutions, to determine the most vulnerable population in an overcrowded shelter. In Ontario, Marie and Amanda–also working on prioritization and vulnerability–worked to develop a framework to improve language around “chronic homelessness,” and help determine vulnerability.

As soon as they mentioned it, hands in the room shot up. “Can we get a copy of that?”

On the issue of working with the government, the room quickly filled with voices, offering advice and lamenting many of the same obstacles.

Team Tshwane confronted the issue of lacking political strength by collaborating with universities, service workers, healthcare professionals, local officials, and people experiencing homelessness to draft a plan for government involvement.

“We’re excited to be collaborating with the new government,” Wilna said, “because there is no party majority, which allows for more diverse voices.”

That approach was helpful for Mariana Ištoňová and Jozef Kákoš, from DePaul Slovensko in Bratislava, Slovakia who are drafting an action plan for 2017 to help raise resources, increase city involvement, and advocate to the public. They’ve managed to garner political support for a national homelessness strategy and improved cooperation between NGOs.

Connecting Threads

There is no silver bullet solution for homelessness. But there are interventions that have been successful and can be adapted to suit unique contexts. During their three days in Chennai, the IGH Leadership Program cohort exchanged ideas, advice, commiserations, and resources.

Progress has been made in each city, and will continue to be made between now and December. To quote Nairobi’s Susan Kiogora, “We have many challenges … but this is a global problem which needs people to come together to be a strong force.”

Or, to put it more simply: “I value our strength.”

A Brief History of Flight: The IGH Leadership Program Spring Convening

The IGH Leadership Program cohort is building paper airplanes. Fourteen leaders in the homelessness sector from eight countries have split into three teams and they’re arguing over aerodynamics.

Paper planes seem so simple, don’t they? Take one sheet of paper, fold a few times, and voilà: flight. But anyone who has ever taken aim at the sky knows that takeoff rarely goes as planned. Sometimes the wind is too strong; sometimes the nose is too heavy; sometimes the airplane falls apart along the folds.

Of course, the history of flight is a history of falling. A history of changing track and trying again to reach new heights. Sometimes incremental changes–a new fold here, a different flick of the wrist–is enough to illuminate the whole system in a way that leads to a breakthrough. Sometimes it takes a lot of experimenting, failing, and re-calibrating to find the blueprint that works.

Flight Test 1: Experimentation

“Ours looks like a blimp,” says Isabel Lacalle, from Santiago, Chile. Her team has eschewed sleek aerodynamics in favor of weight and force. It’s not pretty, but it gets the job done. The two other teams have built their planes in a more traditional fashion, folding to a point and then anchoring the rear with paperclips.

The task at this point is to go from planning to testing as soon as feasible by adopting a mindset known as a Bias Toward Action. We won’t know how long the planes will go until we put them to the test.

After each flight test, they will be given 5 minutes to experiment with a new design. Then they will go back to the starting point and take off again, hoping for an improved flight process and a longer landing. Ask anyone in the homelessness sector and they will tell you that change often happens in the form of small experiments that eventually lead to a breakthrough.

Drew Marshall from ExperiencePoint argues that there’s nothing wrong that kind of constant innovation. “We’re asked to do incremental innovation every day,” he says. “It’s an important part of any work.”

As IGH co-founder Mark McGreevy explains on the first day of the convening, “Change is about resilience. It’s about taking the long view. It’s about pressing on.”

The history of flight is a history of learning from failure. As Community Solutions facilitator Paul Howard puts it: “Don’t just accept that you’re going to make mistakes; embrace it. Use mistakes as opportunities to learn and improve by adopting a mindset of ‘Failing Forward’.”

Flight Test 2: Failing Forward

Team 2 needs more clips, more tape, and some scissors. Their plane only flew an additional half a foot during the previous trial, and this is their last opportunity. Perhaps clips can weigh down the rear of the plane; cutting slits in the wings may help the aircraft catch the breeze from the air conditioning.

“What’s a surefire way to improve our problem-solving and ingenuity?” asks Garen Nigon of Community Solutions. “Cultivate a growth mindset.”

A growth mindset acknowledges that where we are today is not a permanent state, and we can always change and improve. This helps leaders and organizations face failure with the understanding that you learn more from failure than from success. An issue as complex as homelessness requires a lot of on-the-go learning; there are no set answers that will work in 100% of cases. If you fold a piece of paper the right way, it will fly every time. Housing strategies have to allow for flexibility around each individual, and that kind of flexibility requires a particular kind of agility.

“Society treats complex problems like homelessness as if they were technical problems,” says Nigon. “But complex problems require flexible, creative approaches.”

Over the course of this year, all the leaders in our cohort will learn practical ways to achieve their goals. But more than that, they will cultivate the growth mindsets necessary to remain resilient throughout even the worst turbulence.

Flight Test 3: Breakthrough

What if you could make something totally new? What if you could take a long, hard look at your homelessness services, bring in the perspectives of a wide range of users and stakeholders in the community, and come up with something that transforms an incremental system into a breakthrough system?

What if you could identify not just the needs your users and clients already know about, but also anticipate the needs they haven’t yet identified?

For three days, the IGH Leadership Program cohort is learning resilience in the face of incremental change, ingenuity at the opportunity for additive change, and new thinking to affect breakthrough change in their communities. Each country-level pair entered the program with a complex challenge they want to tackle at home.

Examples include ending family homelessness, building a multinational network of organizations working to end homelessness, completing an overhaul of national policy, and creating a comprehensive, coordinated system of homelessness services. (No small thinkers here.)

During the convening, each country-level pair turned these challenges into specific, time-bound breakthrough goals to point their learning toward.

After determining their breakthrough goal, teams were coached through the creation of concrete action plans to outline what steps they’ll need to take over the course of the program and beyond. What incremental changes will need to be tested and improved? What measurement will point toward success?


DePaul University/Jamie Moncrief

The program, split into three convenings and supplemented with facilitation, ongoing remote coaching, and support by Community Solutions and ExperiencePoint, is designed to help leaders:

  • identify new opportunities in their communities,

  • connect with their users to ensure that the new system meets their needs,

  • transform data into actionable plans, and

  • implement those ideas.

And though these long-term goals have due dates long after participants have graduated from the program, the work they do this year and the community of practice they will become part of after graduation will contribute to their efforts all the way to the finish line.

In the game of paper planes, resilience has paid off. On their third try, Team 1 and Team 3, despite radically different starts, end up going the same distance; Team 2 covers less than half the distance but lengthens their plane’s flight path 117% by the last trial.

In the entire history of flight, not one bird, not one plane, not one slip of paper has succeeded on the first attempt. The IGH Leadership Program teaches its participants not to be afraid of failing forward. Agile problem solving, creativity, and patience go a long way in the face of strong winds.

Fold and refold.

Try again.

Amazon Donates $8M to Homelessness; NYU Studies Service Resistance; and More


Amazon Donates $8M to Housing and Homelessness Nonprofits

Amazon, a multinational technology company that focuses on e-commerce, cloud computing, digital streaming and artificial intelligence, and the world’s largest online retailer, is donating $8 million to select housing and homelessness nonprofit organizations in its headquarter regions. Plymouth Housing will receive $5 million to be allocated to permanent, supportive housing for people experiencing homelessness in Seattle, Washington. In Arlington, Virginia, $3 million will go to the Arlington Community Foundation to increase access to affordable housing for low-income families and veterans. In addition, Amazon will match their employees’ contributions to select charities addressing housing and homelessness until September 2019, in both regions.

CEO of Plymouth Housing, Paul Lambros, and Jennifer Owens, President and CEO of Arlington Community Foundation, shared their thought about Amazon’s contribution to tackling homelessness. “As the city of Seattle continues to look for solutions to homelessness, this generous donation from Amazon will help us meet the immediate needs of thousands of people in the coming years,” said Lambros. Owens said: “Our veterans and working families deserve an appropriate standard of living that is healthy, safe, and makes for a vibrant community. This gift is a great contribution toward that cause”.

Read the article here.


NYU Studies Service Resistance Within Homelessness

Researchers from New York University’s (NYU) Silver School of Social Work conducted a qualitative study in the Manhattan borough of New York City, USA that explored the narrative that people experiencing street homelessness are “service resistant”. Professor Deborah Padgett led the study, assisted by doctorate student Lynden Bond, graduate student Anna Nathanson, and research assistant Christina Wusinich of Human.nyc – a non-profit homelessness advocacy organization.

The team interviewed 43 participants about barriers they faced in obtaining housing and accessing services, their interactions with outreach workers, and their experiences with the New York City shelter system. According to their findings, rather than personal intransigence, bureaucratic barriers lead many people experiencing homelessness to resist assistance.

Read the article here.


 Pathways Into Homelessness Among LGBTQ2S Adults

Academic leaders Tim Aubry, John Sylvestre, and John Ecker of the University of Ottawa’s School of Psychology and Centre for Research on Educational and Community Services conducted an exploratory research study to examine entries into homelessness among adults who identify as LGBTQ2S (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, two-spirit). The authors suggest that pathways into homelessness among LGBTQ2S adults have yet to be investigated in great detail. LGBTQ2S adults in Ottawa, Canada who are experiencing or have experienced homelessness were interviewed. When asked about the role that gender identity and/or sexual orientation played in their entry into homelessness, majority of participants said it did not contribute to their homelessness. According to the data, entries into homelessness result from the interplay of multiple factors – structural, systemic, interpersonal and intrapersonal. Majority of the participants reported refraining from disclosing their sexuality when accessing homelessness services out of fear of discrimination or verbal harassment.

Read the report on the IGH Hub.


Arrels Fundació Measures Homelessness in Barcelona

Arrels Fundació, an agency that services people experiencing street homelessness in Barcelona, Spain, conducted an annual point-in-time count. Figures from the count show that about 1,195 people are living without shelter in the city. About 339 people shared their experiences – how long they’ve been sleeping on the street and what factors led them there. There about 25 percent more people experiencing homelessness since the last count. Nearly 600 volunteers visited about 61 Barcelona neighborhoods to gather information.

One person who shared their experience said: “I have worked for 20 years but now I cannot find work, it costs me a lot. I spend the day looking for scrap metal and with the money I earn I can not save”.

Read the article here. (This article’s original text is in Catalan)

If there is news you would like to include in a future update, contact us here: http://www.ighomelessness.org/contact

True Colors United Analyzes LGBTQ Youth Homelessness; Mansfield, Australia Launches Prevention Plan; and More

At the Intersections: LGBTQ+ Youth Homelessness


Homelessness is one of the most pressing issues facing a disproportionate number of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) youth in the United States today. Figures show that LGBTQ youth and young adults are 120% more likely to experience homelessness than their straight and cisgender peers. This second edition of At the Intersections explores recent changes regarding the understanding of homelessness among LGBTQ youth in the United States. True Colors United aims to use their research to make more informed decisions surrounding support to LGBTQ people living without shelter. Their ultimate goal is to make LGBTQ youth homelessness a rare, brief, and one-time experience.

Read the report on the IGH Hub.

Mansfield, Australia Launches Homelessness Plan


Mansfield District Council, Australia is introducing a new strategy to prevent and end local rough sleeping. A major component of the initiative is an increase in rent assistance and debt management – factors that contribute to local homelessness. Jill Finnesey, head of housing of the district, wants to ensure that services supporting mental illness, substance abuse and domestic abuse are incorporated to increase effectiveness. Another objective is to increase social housing.

“We need to work closely with partners, such as charities and housing associations and with private landlords to find solutions to people at risk. We want to encourage the wider community, too, to do their bit to help those at risk,” said Finnesey.

Read the article here.

Helsinki, Finland: Solution to Homelessness


“It was clear to everyone the old system wasn’t working; we needed radical change. We decided to make the housing unconditional,” says Juha Kaakinen, Chief Executive of the Y-Foundation.

According to data from the World Economic Forum, homelessness in Finland is continuously declining. The EU country has moved from a ‘staircase model’ – where people move through different stages of temporary accommodation based on their circumstances, to providing housing first, without conditions. According to Kaakinen, people shouldn’t be required to ‘fix’ other aspects of their life before being housed. Instead, housing should be the foundation that provides the necessary security for them to address those aspects.

Read the article here.

Washington D.C. Partnership to End Homelessness


The District of Columbia and the Greater Washington Community Foundation is working to end local homelessness. They have partnered to raise money for nonprofit housing developers and supportive service providers who work with low-income residents. The collaborative effort will offer impact-investing options aimed at increasing the district’s affordable housing stock. This partnership is the first of its kind in the region. Figures from the latest point-in-time count suggest that over 6,500 people are experiencing homelessness. Kristy Greenwalt, head of the District’s Interagency Council on Homelessness, stated: “this level of homelessness is due in large part to rising housing costs that outpace local incomes and a shortage of affordable housing, which are preventing many people from participating in the region’s economic growth”.

Read the article here.

If there is news you would like to include in a future update, contact us here: http://www.ighomelessness.org/contact

Montevideo, Uruguay Expands Homelessness Services; Salvation Army Meets with Illinois Lawmakers; and More

Five Factors Underpin Good Homelessness Service Implementation


The Centre for Homelessness Impact added new content to their Intervention Tool that can be used by homelessness, practitioners and policymakers to raise implementation standards.

Dr. Jenny Wood outlines five crucial factors that emerged across all interventions.

Suitable and affordable accommodation is necessary to ensure stability after experiencing homelessness. Dr. Wood suggests that such an environment gives individuals a solid foundation to address other aspects of their lives that need improvement and continue to progress.

Appropriate, sufficient and consistent resourcing is vital to the effectiveness of services, programs, initiatives, etc. Partnerships and collaborative work is paramount to the success of program. Common understanding, consistent communication, regular convening, and sharing of data are some components that can help facilitate partnerships. Person-centered support, such as housing first, has been known to foster better outcomes for people living without shelter. In order to deliver adequate support or service, providers must have the ability, training and capacity to deliver personalized care. Organizations should also be mindful of their broader service culture and environment.

Read the article here.

Montevideo, Uruguay Expands Homelessness Services


Montevideo, Uruguay has increased their capacity to support people experiencing street homelessness. The city has the resources to provide temporary accommodation for 200 more people. The Ministry of Social Development’s (Mides) 2019 Winter Plan is in affect until the end of October this year. As a vanguard city in the IGH A Place to Call Home campaign, the city is working toward their goal to reduce the number of people experiencing homelessness with mental illness.

Read the article here.

The Salvation Army’s Trip to the Capitol


As Illinois legislature works on budget approvals, the Salvation Army Metropolitan Division convened in Springfield, Illinois with state lawmakers to discuss the support needs for homelessness, mental health, and opioid abuse. Executive Director of The Salvation Army Harbor Light Center in West Humboldt Park, Major Merrill Powers, highlighted the needs of communities affected by the opioid crisis – through the Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery, amid declining state funding.

In response, Representative Kathleen Willis outlined Senate Bill 1966 – “Fix the Void”. She explained ways in which the state plans to generate more funding for mental health. “Mental health is always a concern because you know what, it’s bipartisan,” said Senate President John Cullerton, acknowledging their concerns.

Read the article here.

Under One Roof: Annual Conference 2019


Homeless Link’s Under One Roof Annual Conference will take place on Tuesday, July 2, 2019 in Hinckley, United Kingdom. It will be two days of networking, learning & sharing collaborative responses to tackle homelessness.​ The program will consist of plenary sessions and workshops on current and emerging good practice, recent legislation, and innovative approaches to supporting people experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The flagship event provides leaders, practitioners and service providers the opportunity to network and exchange knowledge.

Read the article here.

The Homelessness Monitor: England 2019


The Homelessness Monitor: England 2019 is the eighth annual report of an independent study of the homelessness impacts of recent economic and policy developments in England, United Kingdom (UK). The study provides an independent analysis of the how homelessness is being impacted by recent economic and policy developments across the UK. This eighth annual report provides an updated account of the state of local homelessness in 2019. It also highlights emerging trends and forecasts some of the likely future changes – identifying developments likely to affect homelessness.

Read the report on the IGH Hub.

If there is news you would like to include in a future update, contact us here: http://www.ighomelessness.org/contact

The World’s Big Sleep Out Launches; Rotorua, New Zealand Establishes Housing First Program; Vincentian Family’s ’13 Homes’ Campaign; and More

The World’s Big Sleep Out


On Saturday, December 7, 2019, the world’s largest display of solidarity and support of street homelessness and displacement will take place. The World’s Big Sleep Out is an initiative that aims to raise awareness and funds towards global efforts to end rough sleeping. 50,000 people, including Will Smith and Dame Helen Mirren, are estimated to participate in the Sleep Out in cities throughout the world. The campaign is founded by Social Bite co-founder Josh Littlejohn MBE, in partnership with the Institute of Global Homelessness, Malala Fund, Robin Hood NYC and UNICEF USA. The Chicago Big Sleep Out is set to take place in Lincoln Park, Illinois.

Learn more here.

Housing First Rotorua, New Zealand


Haehaetu Barrett: “When people are coming through these doors, we can quickly allocate them to a key worker, a property manager and a tenancy manger to get them into a house”.

The Rotorua, New Zealand government has launched a housing first program to tackle local homelessness. According to Barrett – Service Manager at Lifewise Rotorua, about five years ago, community organizations convened to analyze the issue of homelessness and decided they needed more collaborative efforts. Thus, Housing First Rotorua is a partnership between Lifewise, Te Taumata O Ngāti Whakaue Iho Ake Trust and LinkPeople. Figures from last year’s rough sleeping count presented the need for urgent support from the local government. Leaders will now work to build relationships with local real estate agencies in efforts to expand housing first opportunities.

Read the article here.

The 13 Houses Campaign


Our partners at Depaul UK are joining efforts with the Ladies of Charity, the Daughters of Charity and the Congregation of the Mission to improve the lives of 10,000 people experiencing homelessness around the world. The Famvin Homeless Alliance initiative – 13 Houses Campaign, will foster 50 new houses across the United Kingdom. The campaign is inspired by St. Vincent de Paul, who built 13 small houses close to St. Lazare – the motherhouse of the Congregation of the Mission, to care for children experiencing homelessness

Read the article here.

UCSF Receives $30M to Study Homelessness


Tech Entrepreneur and CEO of Salesforce, Marc Benioff, donated $30 million to the University of San Francisco to develop a new research institute – The Benioff Homelessness and Housing Initiative. According to Kevin Fagan of the San Francisco Chronicle, it’s the largest private donation in the United States toward homelessness research yet.The institute aims to study homelessness and effective housing solutions. Benioff says this research can help the city determine how to spend the $300 million in annual homelessness funding, generated by 2018’s Proposition C. Dr. Margot Kushel, UCSF Professor and prominent researcher in street homelessness in the U.S., will lead the initiative.

Professor Kushel adds: “There is already a lot of research that gets done, and research people read it and know what it means, but the message doesn’t get out to policy leaders and others who really need to understand it”. Her goal is to find ways to eliminate wasted effort. For examples, how to offer the appropriate support to certain groups; ensure that programs provide the right amount of on-site support to encourage long-term, independent living outcomes; or support families in ways that prevent their elderly relatives from experiencing homelessness.

Read the article here.

Developing a National Portrait of Homelessness for Women, Girls, and Gender-Diverse Peoples in Canada


Rachel Caplan, Kaitlin Schwan, Melissa Perri, and Alicia Versteegh explore the development of the National Housing Strategy (NHS) Research and Planning Fund Initiative for women, girls, and gender-diverse peoples in Canada. According to the article, women are largely over-represented among the population of peoples experiencing homelessness in Canada, and face unique challenges. Gaps in knowledge surrounding the issue create barriers to adequately responding to women’s needs through policy and practice. The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation will fund a joint research project focused on women and girls’ homelessness. It will be conducted by the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness with the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (CAEH) as a partner and fund holder through the CAEH Women’s Homelessness Advisory Committee. The work will provide one of the most comprehensive collections of scholarship on women’s homelessness and housing need in Canada.

Read the article here.

Kerala, India Offers Housing; Bristol, UK Aims to End Rough Sleeping; and More

Kerala, India Offers Housing to Tackle Homelessness


The state of Kerala is offering free housing to people experiencing homelessness. Executive Director of Housing and Land Rights Network, Shivani Chaudhry, says that with this housing plan, the Indian government can shift the focus of its efforts from temporary accommodation to permanent housing. About 145 families have received housing so far in southern India this month. Local officials have gathered data on the state of homelessness and plan to build over 400,000 homes, said U.V. Jose, Chief Executive of the LIFE Mission – a government agency overseeing the project. Chaudhry suggests that this ambitious model is “the only viable solution to end homelessness” throughout India.

Read the article here.

Bristol, UK Aims to End Rough Sleeping by 2027


Bristol, England has a new strategy aimed at eradicating rough sleeping by the year 2027. According to St. Mungo’s, over 900 people were living without shelter in Bristol in 2018 – a 23 percent increase from the previous year. By 2022, the city will work towards a 50 percent reduction in local homelessness. The five-year plan will be based on prevention. Leaders propose increasing transitional housing, efforts to combat homelessness among young people and people leaving institutions, such as prisons and hospitals.

Read the article here.

NAEH: Approaching Data Visualization


There has been a great shift toward evidence based, data-driven efforts to end homelessness throughout the world. On the National Alliance to End Homelessness blog, Jackie Janosko discusses effective ways to communicate such significant data through data visualization. Janosko suggests that data visualization provides a multitude of benefits for the homelessness service sector, such as allowing easy monitoring of individual and systemic progress within a community or viewing trends in lengths of stay and exits to permanent housing.

“The future of our mission relies on using data to make informed decisions. Using well designed, thoughtful visualizations to help make those decisions will be an enormous help to every community who chooses to embrace it,” said Janosko.

Read the article here.

Middle-aged Homelessness in Seoul, South Korea


Kang Seung-woo of The Korea Times reports on homelessness among middle-aged people in Seoul, South Korea. According to a joint study by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, Seoul Welfare Foundation and Seoul Association of Institutes for the Homeless, the average person began experiencing homelessness during their middle-age years. An estimated 3,478 people were living without shelter in 2018 and had been for approximately 11 years. People surveyed shared that contributing factors included financial hardship, marital issues and substance abuse. The local government says that homelessness has been steadily declining since 2013.

Read the article here.

If there is news you would like to include in a future update, contact us here: http://www.ighomelessness.org/contact

FEANTSA Supports EU Citizens Experiencing Homelessness, North America’s Largest Homelessness Shelter Becomes Housing-Focused, and More


Supporting People Experiencing Homelessness: Migrating Across EU States

Policy Officer for The European Federation of National Organisations working with the Homeless (FEANTSA), Mauro Striano, discusses how charities throughout Europe are leading the way in delivering rights-based, front line services to EU citizens experiencing homelessness. There is an increasing number of EU citizens who have moved to another Member State and are now experiencing homelessness there. Servicing such a group, with a wide range of circumstances, is challenging. FEANTSA’s long-standing work with mobile EU citizens experiencing homelessness, through the Protecting the Rights of Destitute Mobile EU Citi­zens project, has helped identify a significant challenge – the gap between professionals working with people experiencing homelessness and legal expertise. Thus, Striano suggests that public organizations work through partnership to find solutions.

Read the article here.


Under One Roof: Annual Conference 2019


Under One Roof: Annual Conference 2019 will be “two days of networking, learning & sharing collaborative responses to tackle homelessness”. The program will include plenary sessions and workshops discussing current and emerging good practice, recent legislation, and innovative approaches to solving homelessness. The convening will cover a wide range of topics, including supporting those with multiple and complex disadvantage and strategies for prevention. The conference will be held on Tuesday, July 2 through Wednesday, July 3, 2019.

Read the article here.

North America’s Largest Homelessness Shelter Becomes Housing-Focused

In this Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness Bright Spot blog, Sandra Clarkson discusses progress made over the past year in the Calgary Drop-In Centre in Alberta, Canada. The Centre housed over 300 people and reduced its chronic homelessness by 22 percent. After 60 years since its opening, the Centre has the largest number of shelter spaces in North America. A new case management team works with long-term shelter stayers to find appropriate and right-fit housing in the community. Their diversion team focuses on new shelter stayers and determining their path to homelessness and how to reconnect them to the community quickly.

Read the article here.

If there is news you would like to include in a future update, contact us here: http://www.ighomelessness.org/contact

UCSF Analyzes Homelessness Among Seniors; Montevideo, Uruguay Agencies Partner to Utilize Local Property; and More.


UCSF Analyzes Homelessness Among Seniors in America


In a study that discusses the current safety net for low-income seniors in America, researchers found that just less than half of people over 50 years old experiencing homelessness began living on the streets after turning 50. The study’s findings highlights growing post-retirement financial strain, said University of California, San Francisco Professor, Margot Kushel, who heads the study. Kushel points to a cycle characterized by insufficient wages, affordable housing shortages, and an inadequate safety net – all contributing to an inability to build wealth throughout one’s adult life. She suggests that U.S. systems and policies incorporate preventative measures to help people and their families be better equipped for retirement.

“We also need to expand our attention to prevent seniors from becoming homeless to begin with, perhaps by giving subsidies so they can stay with families, the way we do for children through child welfare services.”

Read the article here.

Harmonisation of Definitions of Homelessness for U.K. Official Statistics: A Feasibility Report

The Government Statistical Service (GSS) developed a report to provide a better understanding of the comparability of U.K. homelessness statistics. GSS is a cross-government network, led by the National Statistician, that works to provide advice, analysis and a statistical evidence base to help people make better decisions. The network suggests that substantive differences in the administrative data systems and legal definitions of homelessness make it difficult to develop a consistent definition of homelessness, in the short term, and provides a number of recommendations to improve consistency.

Read the report on the IGH Hub.


National Alliance to End Rural and Remote Homelessness


The National Alliance to End Rural and Remote Homelessness (NAERRH) is a new network focused on building a collective voice across Canada to advocate for the importance of preventing, reducing and ending homelessness in rural and remote communities. According to Terrilee Kelford and Shane Pelletier – Co-Chairs of NAERRH, and Ayon Shahed – Director of Strategic Development for Choices for Youth, rural and remote communities represent one-third of Canada’s population, local governments and businesses. Yet, there is still a need to address and define pervasive, hidden homelessness in these areas. The NAERRH has announced that there will be a Rural and Remote stream at the 2019 National Conference on Ending Homelessness in Edmonton, Alberta in November.

Read the article here.

The 14th Annual European Research Conference on Homelessness

The 14th Annual European Research Conference on Homelessness will take place in Helsingborg, Sweden on September 20, 2019. The European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless (FEANTSA), The European Observatory on Homelessness, Lund University and the City of Helsingborg have partnered to host the conference. This year’s convening aims to explore recent evidence on the broad theme of ‘Homelessness and Housing Exclusion’, across Europe and other regions. Keynote speakers include Cameron Parsell – Australian Research Council Principal Research Fellow at The University of Queensland and Marcus Knutagård – Researcher and Senior Lecturer at Lund University’s School of Social Work.

Read the article here.


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Awhina House to Open in Tauranga, New Zealand


“It’s where we’ll be welcoming women who are wanting to make changes and work on setting some goals and moving into their own independent housing,” said Angela Wallace, Manager of Awhina House. The new women’s shelter is the result of a collaboration between Tauranga City Council, Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust, the Acorn Foundation and Craigs Investment Partners, Synergy Technology, Watchmen Security and BayTrust. It is set to open on April 8, 2019.

Read the article here.

Montevideo, Uruguay Agencies Partner to Utilize Local Property

This week, local agencies signed an agreement to collaborate on the first project to address the use of abandoned buildings throughout the city of Montevideo, Uruguay. Local leaders suggest that the properties be utilized to address social issues, such as affordable housing. The 14th Intendency of Montevideo (IM), Uruguayan Federation of Housing Cooperatives for Mutual Aid (FUCVAM), Uruguayan Cooperativist Center (CCU), Ministry of Social Development (Mides), Faculty of Architecture, Design and Urbanism (FADU) and Neighborhood Commission of Plaza de Deportes 1 of the Old City are all involved in this initiative.

Read the article here. (This article’s original text is in Spanish)

If there is news you would like to include in a future update, contact us here: http://www.ighomelessness.org/contact