Vanguard Trip: Santiago de Chile, Montevideo, Uruguay, and São Paulo, Brazil

We’re so grateful for the chance to travel again and be with our colleagues in person. We were able to spend time in South America during the months of July and August, learning from and working with our Vanguard Program partners. Our key takeaways were: the core issues of homelessness are very similar all around the world, with rising challenges in accessing housing, serving people with complex needs, complications in cross-sector partnerships, and thinking through creating people-centered systems that quickly resolve homelessness with permanent solutions. But another takeaway is that all our partners are passionate, innovative, dedicated, and willing to learn from mistakes and from each other, which gives us continued optimism that we can all rise together to meet the urgent challenge of homelessness.  

Meeting with the National Street Team for the Chilean Ministry of Social Development and Families

In Santiago de Chile, we met with our partners at the National Street Team in the Ministry of Social Development and Families (MDSF). Our first site visit was with Nuestra Casa, which has collective housing as well as a Housing First program. We met with a Housing First resident, Santiago, an artist, who talked about his experience in Nuestra Casa’s HF program as well as showing us his work, carved lanterns.  Next, we had a meeting with the service delivery team of the Barrio Calle program, an intersectoral project to reduce homelessness in two neighborhoods in Santiago through street outreach and integrated services. We heard about their challenges in accessing housing units and serving people with complex needs. IGH also presented at two forums, an NGO forum and a collective of real estate developers and business people, sharing some global examples that they can adapt to drive housing solutions in Chile. And we worked with our partners at CISCAL to continue planning the next International Journal on Homelessness conference which will be held near Santiago in January 2025 (exact dates to come soon!).

Our first meeting in Uruguay was with MIDES Minister Lema, Fernanda Auersperg, Gabriel Cunha and Antonio Manzi

The next stop on our trip was Montevideo, Uruguay. We worked closely with the Ministry of Social Development (MIDES) and visited many housing programs for families and individuals, shelters, and specialized housing programs for people living with mental and physical disabilities, substance use, and returning citizens. We were particularly impressed with their central street outreach dispatch and booking program, which ensures that 100% of people who want shelter have it. IGH took part in their biannual point-in-time count, which they use alongside real-time administrative data, to track important data and trends to better inform their approach to homelessness. Most of the homeless services in Uruguay are contracted through the central government, and MIDES has focused in the last year on broadening partnerships with civil society. We visited several organizations benefiting from this new approach including Ceprodih, a workforce development program focused on supporting single mothers (pictured below).  We had the opportunity to talk with many people who have lived experience of homelessness, including people from Colectivo Ni Todo Esta Perdido and Centro Autogestionado Viladevoz, a collective who live together and work together to manage a radio station. Uruguay is IGH’s first Vanguard Country, and we were so thankful for the opportunity to see the diverse range of programs, share mate, and have deeper conversations with our partners talking about new strategies, challenges, and work to collaborate across sectors. 

In São Paulo, Brazil, we were delighted to sign the formal Vanguard City partnership agreement with the city administration including the Mayor of São Paulo, Municipal Secretary of Assistance and Social Development, Municipal Secretary for human rights and citizenship, and the Municipal Secretary for International relations. The agreement was also signed with the Institute for Economic Research Foundation (FIPE).  IGH, FIPE, and the city administration are working together on a new initiative to support youth at risk or experiencing homelessness. We also toured day centers, housing programs, and visited with people with the lived experience of homelessness and service providers, including the Rede Rua program.

The signatories of the São Paulo Vanguard City Agreement

¡Gracias a todos nuestros colegas por un gran viaje!

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.

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:

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:

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:

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.

If there is news you would like to include in a future update, contact us here:

Sydney, Australia Joins the IGH AP2CH Campaign; CAEH’s 2019 Conference; Working Group Pushes for UN’s Increased Engagement to End Homelessness; and More

The 2019 National Conference on Ending Homelessness

The Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (CAEH) will host their National Conference on Ending Homelessness on November 4-6, 2019 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The conference program will cover a range of topics in homelessness, designed to support and accelerate the end of homelessness in Canada by equipping participants with the tools and training they need to end homelessness in their communities. Online registration, scholarship applications and presentations are now open for submission.

Learn more here.

Sydney, Australia Joins the A Place to Call Home Campaign


This week, Sydney, Australia announced their participation in the IGH A Place to Call Home Campaign as the tenth vanguard city. Premier of New South Wales, Australia, Gladys Berejiklian, pledged the local government’s commitment to reduce the number of people experiencing street homelessness by 50% by the year 2025. “We are working hard to break the cycle of homelessness with the latest street count showing a significant reduction in the number of rough sleepers in Sydney,” said Berejiklian.

Read more here.

Hospitals House Patients Experiencing Homelessness

“Health systems can’t pay for us to get out of our affordable housing crisis,” said Rachel Solotaroff, MD, president and CEO of Central City Concern – a nonprofit homelessness and substance abuse service agency.

In 2015, The University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago (UI Health) began a three-year pilot project to house 25 frequent emergency department patients, with chronic health conditions, experiencing homelessness. The Chicago Center for Housing and Health provided a case manager, health care coordination, and other support services to participants. Due to the success of the Better Health Through Housing project, UI Health doubled the number of recipients and plans to further expand. The program is one of a growing number of housing initiatives supported by healthcare systems across the United States. In this article, Bridget M. Kuehn of JAMA Network discusses how an overworked healthcare system can become strained and initiatives like these can alleviate it.

Read more here.


UN Working Group Discusses Tackling Street Homelessness Head-on

The United Nations (UN) NGO Working Group to End Homelessness gathered in New York City, New York, USA to brainstorm on proposed long-term goals of UN engagement in ending global street homelessness. The 27-member working group discussed existing efforts and opportunities for homelessness to be addressed in the form of a global goal, starting with achieving a global measurement of the issue. Although the UN agenda doesn’t ignore the need for housing – goal 11 is to ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services, and upgrade slums by 2030; the working group is encouraging increased efforts tailored to street homelessness around the world.

Read more here.

If there is news you would like to include in a future update, contact us here:

A Way Home Europe; Street Homelessness in Taipei, Taiwan; and More.

A Way Home Europe

The efforts of A Way Home Canada have inspired communities, states and other countries to join their international movement for change in the homelessness sector. Europe has now joined the A Way Home (AWH) initiative. The continent will engage in shared learning about effective solutions in policy, practice and planning for preventing and ending youth homelessness. In the coming months, AWH will be working with partners from around the world to draft and build consensus on shared international principles that will guide their movement. A Way Home Europe will launch in Spring 2019.

Read the blog here.

Solutions for Individual Homeless Adults: A National Conference

The National Alliance on Ending Homelessness (NAEH) will hold the Solutions for Individual Homeless Adults: A National Conference on February 21-22, 2019 in San Diego, California, USA. The convening will consist of expert presentations, panel discussions, interactive learning sessions, and networking opportunities. According to NAEH, the largest group of people experiencing homelessness is individuals living on their own. Stakeholders from across all sectors will gather to examine what is known about people who are experiencing homelessness without their families. The conference will also be an opportunity for participants to discover new ways to help end homelessness among this population.

Register here.

The Other Taipei: On The Front-lines Helping the Homeless

Ben Cheney of New Bloom explores the state of street homelessness in Taipei, Taiwan through interviews with Ku Teng-ju of the Homeless Taiwan Association and Chu Yi-jun of the Wanhua Social Welfare Service Center – a division of Taipei City Government’s Department of Social Welfare. Teng-ju estimates that nearly 3,000 people could be living without shelter throughout the city. He suggests that stagnant wages and increased cost of living over the past two decades has contributed to the issue. In addition, aging and poor health, leading to lack of employment, could also be a large factor. Cheney also discusses the demographics of people lacking shelter across different districts of Taipei. Yi-jun suggests that solving the local housing crisis and working to eliminate stigmas surrounding homelessness would help solve the issue.

Read the article here.

If there is news you would like to include in a future update, contact us here:

IGH Joins Rijeka, Croatia to Collect Data; Auckland, New Zealand Counts Street Homelessness; and More

Ira Mata, Ira Tangata: Auckland, New Zealand’s Homeless Count


Over 700 people took to the streets of Auckland, New Zealand to conduct a point-in-time count of people experiencing homelessness. According to Toby Manhire of The Spin Off, volunteers spread from Pukekohe to Warkworth to collect information on the current state of street homelessness. Local homelessness agencies plan to utilize the data to improve allocation of support services. The count was organized by the housing first collective of five community organizations, and supported by the Auckland City Council.

“This will help the community take another step forward to help end homelessness,” said Chris Farrelly, the ‘grandfather’ of street counts in Auckland. Initial figures of the count will be announced on World Homeless Day, October 10, 2018.

Read the article here.

Tackling Homelessness and Meeting Housing Need Conference

The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) will host the Tackling Homelessness and Meeting Housing Need Conference on December 5-6, 2018 in Northampton, England. The conference is an opportunity for housing professionals throughout England to convene and consider key policy and strategic issues in homelessness and housing. The Institute encourages senior and front-line members of staff; staff working in the voluntary sector; and members of health and welfare agencies to attend the conference. With a wide range of delegates attending, CIH suggests that this will also be an opportunity for organizations to network and develop new professional relationships.

Register here.


The Centre for Homelessness Impact Looks at Evidence in England

In the Centre for Homelessness Impact’s Making Better Use of Evidence to End Rough Sleeping in England blog, Dr. Lígia Teixeira discusses how an evidence-based framework could compliment England’s forthcoming strategy to resolve street homelessness. Dr. Teixeira suggests that such a framework could help the country monitor its progress, while focusing on impact rather than activity and costs. According to The Centre, there are three key steps to move this agenda forward; 1) draw on bodies of evidence and build the evidence of what works; 2) focus on improvement and 3) build local capacity for evidence use. They encourage the use of reliable evidence on homelessness and related issues in government and sector-wide operations for the development and implementation of effective public policy.

“Greater investment in experimentation and evaluation would not only help the government meet its goal to end street homelessness in England, but ensure it does so sustainably and permanently.”

Read the blog here.

Rijeka, Croatia Conducts Street Homelessness Count

The Institute of Global Homelessness (IGH) joined city leaders and volunteers in Rijeka, Croatia to learn more about the state of local street homelessness. Rijeka is the fifth vanguard city to join the IGH A Place to Call Home Campaign. Sister Veronika Mila Popić, Director of Depaul Croatia and head of the Rijeka House of Refugees, and Dragica Marač, Head of the County Social Policy Department and Youth, lead the outreach initiative. Upon joining the campaign, Marač expressed the city’s goal to identify the number and location of people living without shelter by the end of 2018. The first steps toward providing emergency accommodation are already underway.

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

Learn about Rijeka’s goal here.


Homelessness in America: Focus on Families with Children


The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) released a brief called Focus on Families with Children exploring data and information on: the scale of family homelessness; knowledge about the families with children who experience homelessness; knowledge about patterns of homelessness among families with children; knowledge about families’ risks for experiencing homelessness; and the most significant gaps in available data and current understanding of families with children who experience homelessness. This brief is apart of USICH’s Homelessness in America series, which aims to build upon a clear understanding of who is at risk of homelessness, who experiences homelessness, and differences within and between sub-populations of people who are at risk or are experiencing homelessness.

According to the brief, families with children represent one-third of all people experiencing homelessness on a given night in America. Overall, the number of family households experiencing homelessness at a point in time declined by 27% between 2010 and 2017. USICH suggests that further research and data is needed several areas including documentation of the patterns and trajectories of homelessness among families living in rural areas; the impact of race, gender, and other demographic factors on entries into and exits from homelessness and more.

Read the report on the IGH Hub.

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