This Month in Homelessness: October 2020 sees launch of new initiatives to address homelessness globally

World Homeless Day (WHD) is observed on the 10th of October each year to increase awareness of the needs of people experiencing homelessness and opportunities for communities to get involved in responding to homelessness. WHD emerged from online discussions between people working to respond to homelessness from various parts of the world. The international awareness day aims to amplify the global movement to end homelessness. Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals and organizations across the world continue large-scale efforts to combat the issue through research, virtual convenings and campaigns, and knowledge exchange.

Organizations continue to drive the Vincentian mission through urgent, collaborative responses to homelessness worldwide. St. Vincent de Paul led and inspired work with people experiencing street homelessness, including children and refugees. The DePaul University Division of Mission and Ministry (DMM) featured the Institute of Global Homelessness in their Seeds of the Mission campaign, which aimed to highlight stories of mission-in-action through which people at DePaul. DePaul’s Grounded in Mission: The plan for DePaul 2024 names street homelessness in strategic priority 1.2.C — “provide thought leadership in addressing pressing issues of social and environmental justice, including global efforts to eradicate street homelessness” and priority 1.2.E urges the university to “better coordinate and advance our mission-based community outreach efforts at the local, national, and international levels.” “The Vincentian values are at play in the work of IGH every single day,” said our Executive Director, Lydia Stazen. In theDMM campaign, Stazen discusses IGH’s three signature strategies of “see it, solve it, share it” to achieve its mission to eradicate global homelessness, in support of those goals.

Convened by The Shift, along with organizations worldwide, the Global Homelessness Action initiative provides people experiencing homelessness with an opportunity to collectively claim their right to housing. It aims to amplify individual voices and demand concrete and urgent action from governments through video, audio, and written testimonies. The Shift invites anyone living without shelter to claim their right to housing through the global campaign.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted racial inequity across the United States. According to the National Innovation Services (NIS), people experiencing homelessness are among those most affected by both the pandemic and the long-standing and compounding impacts of structural racism. The NIS Center for Housing Justice undertook a range of focus groups with people with lived experience of homelessness to improve understanding of the impacts and implications they have for policy and service priorities, through the Framework for an Equitable COVID-19 Homelessness Response project. NIS produced population-specific briefs that included these top policy shifts: 1) crisis response that ends the use of large, 2) congregate shelters; 3) dignity-based services led by communities most affected by homelessness; affordable housing in the most impacted communities; and 4) decriminalization.

On the occasion of World Homelessness Day, UN-Habitat hosted the Housing and Social Protection for all to End Homelessness Roundtable. The virtual event, jointly organized by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) and UN-Habitat, brought together high-level technical experts — our Advisory Committee Chair, Dame Louise Casey; Daniela Bas, Director of the Division for Inclusive Social Development of UN DESA;  Christina Behrendt, Head of ILO’s Social Policy Unit, Social Protection Department; Freek Spinnewijn, Director, European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless (FEANTSA); Liz Madden, Expert of lived experience of homelessness; and Iris Bailey, Expert of lived experience of homelessness, to discuss the renewed urgency of addressing homelessness within the context of a COVID-19 new normal. Read the World Homelessness Day 2020: Housing And Social Protection At The Core Of Homelessness Prevention Strategies here.

Indigenous Peoples Day is observed each year on the 12th of October. The Homeless Hub describes Indigenous homelessness as First Nations, Métis, and Inuit individuals, families/communities experiencing a lack of stable, permanent, appropriate housing, or the immediate means to acquire such housing. Indigenous homelessness is more fully described and understood to encompass Indigenous worldviews, including isolation from their relationships to land, animals, cultures, languages, identities, etc. Métis scholar and author of Definition of Indigenous Homelessness in Canada, Jesse Thistle,and international leader in indigenous health, Janet Smylie’s 2020 article Pekiwewin (Coming Home): Advancing Good Relations with Indigenous People Experiencing Homelessness outlines clinical guidelines for health and social service providers seeking to build relationships with Indigenous Peoples experiencing homelessness. Making the Shift’s In Conversation webinar series recently welcomed Thistle as its first guess for Jesse Thistle on Indigenous Homelessness in Canada and the role of lived experience in research.

World Statistics Day is an annual, global collaborative endeavour, organized under the guidance of the United Nations Statistical Commission on the 20th of October. The 2020 theme — Connecting the World With Data We Can Trust, reflected on the importance of trust, authoritative data, innovation, and the public good in national statistical systems.

Learn more about how you can help IGH end global homelessness.

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 – 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)

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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.

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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:

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:

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:

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)

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IGH Joins Efforts to Address Global Street Homelessness; RAIS Fundación Proposes Policy Change in Spain; and More


The United Nations Working Group to End Homelessness

The United Nations NGO Working Group to End Homelessness (WGEH), IGH, and the International Coalition to End Homelessness propose a renewed focus on measuring and ending street homelessness worldwide. WGEH convened last month to present U.N. members with information that would support their proposal – to consider housing as a basic human need, and to explore the challenges street homelessness poses to meeting other U.N. objectives, including the 2030 New Urban Agenda. A large part of these efforts going forward will be building political will to measure the problem, explained Mark McGreevy, IGH’s co-founder and Group Chief Executive of Depaul International.

“There’s a unique role that we can play, with our data and research, as well as the wealth of knowledge from our community of partners,” says Lydia Stazen, IGH Executive Director.

Read the article here.

Read about WGEH here.


The Homelessness Monitor: Scotland 2019


The Homelessness Monitor is an analysis of the impact of recent economic and policy developments in homelessness across the United Kingdom. It is the third annual report of an independent study, funded by Crisis and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Key findings include: homelessness has become a key policy priority for the Scottish Government; the overall scale of statutory homelessness in Scotland has been relatively flat for the past five years; development of temporary accommodation has been fairly stable over the past decade; and more.

Read the report on the IGH Hub.

Depaul USA’s Second Dax House in Chicago, USA

Depaul USA is thrilled to announce that they now own a second Dax House in Chicago, USA! It will provide housing to four additional DePaul University students experiencing homelessness or lacking secure housing. In 2014, Depaul USA established the Dax Program to address homelessness among college students in Chicago – providing housing, case management, counseling referrals, transportation, food, textbook assistance, and educational reimbursements.

Learn more here.


Preventing Premature Deaths Among People Experiencing Homelessness


Figures from the United Kingdom’s Office of National Statistics show an increase in premature deaths among people living without shelter in England and Wales. On the Centre for Homelessness Impact‘s blog, Dr. Emily Tweed discusses ways to prevent such deaths through effective action. Dr. Tweed highlighted a key piece of the data found – one’s life circumstances profoundly shape their chances of good health. Homelessness can increase high risks of poor health which can lead to premature death. She suggests that the homelessness service sector analyze the “causes of the causes” – the larger social, economic, and political factors which shape the course of life and apply preventative measures on a larger scale.

Read the blog here.

Transforming the System to End Homelessness in Spain

Alberto Hidalgo Hermoso: “we want homelessness on the political and electoral agenda. That’s why we’re developing awareness and advocacy with political parties, to strengthen their commitment to solving this problem”.

As part of the European End Street Homelessness Campaign, the RAIS Fundación published proposals to improve the systems in place to address homelessness across Spain. The non-profit organization suggests that homelessness is not an individual issue but, instead, is the result of ineffective policies.

Read the article here.


Malala Fund, UNICEF USA, Social Bite and IGH Collaborate for Global Sleep Out


This week marked the soft launch of the Global Sleep Out campaign of 2019. Social Bite, Malala Fund, UNICEF USA and IGH have collaborated to headline the initiative. The campaign aims to have 50,000 people participate in the sleep out on a given night to bring attention to and raise funding for homelessness on a global scale. co-founder of the Malala Fund, Malala Yousafzai, took part in a moderated Q&A where she shared insight from her lived experience of homelessness.

“I am excited to work with our partners – Malala Fund, UNICEF USA and the Institute for Global Homelessness – to bring this campaign to the international stage and I hope we can make a big difference to many people who don’t have a safe place to call home across the world,” said Josh Littlejohn MBE, Co-Founder of Social Bite.

Read the article here.

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