Homelessness is one of the most visible and complex forms of poverty, but cities across the world are showing that ending homelessness is possible, and mayors play a pivotal role. Mayors can transform the local action on ending homelessness by leveraging data, innovation, and partnership. The International Mayors Council on Homelessness brings together Mayors who are committed to reducing homelessness and creates a forum to discuss the most pressing challenges and evidence on what works. Although mayors are a critical part of ending homelessness in cities globally, many mayors feel they do not have control over the issue due to lack of funding, housing laws, and limited support from local and national social services. This initiative recognizes the transformational power that Mayors can make on the issue of homelessness and will work to empower and equip mayors to tackle the issue locally and advocate for their work globally.
The Mayor’s Council is open to any mayor who is committed to take action on homelessness. We welcome mayors from cities that have just started their homelessness work as well as mayors of cities who have a proven record of reducing homelessness.
The Mission of the International Mayors Council on Homelessness:
- Create a forum to discuss what works, key barriers and challenges that cities face, and the role of mayors in ending homelessness
- Shape national and international policy with local knowledge and solutions on homelessness and advocate for new resources and funding
The Institute of Global Homelessness (IGH) and The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) are collaborating to bring evidence-based best practice and policy to the forefront of the international conversation on the need to end homelessness to achieve sustainable and equitable cities. Since 2017, IGH has worked with Vanguard Cities across six continents who have committed to local goals on homelessness and progressed towards those goals while learning from each other about what worked, what didn’t, and what can be done to end homelessness going forward. In the Vanguard Cities program, we emphasize the importance of collaboration, centering voices of lived experience, housing-led strategies, and the use of data and evidence to drive progress.
The Aims of the International Mayors Council on Homelessnsess:
- Inform homelessness policy on a local, national, and international level and promote advocacy work of cities
- Discuss the role of Mayors and city governments in ending homelessness and how mayors can catalyze progress through data, collaboration and evidenced-based interventions
- Connect homelessness to the work in other sectors including the SDGs
- Center equity and citizens who have lived experience of homelessness
- Build capacity for cities to implement programs at scale
- Create opportunities for cities to access resources and unlock new funding
The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)
The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities. UN-Habitat is the focal point for all urbanization and human settlement matters within the UN system.
UN-Habitat works with partners to build inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities and communities. UN-Habitat promotes urbanization as a positive transformative force for people and communities, reducing inequality, discrimination and poverty. Visit https://unhabitat.org/ for more information.
Institute of Global Homelessness
Founded in 2014, the Institute of Global Homelessness (IGH) is the first organization to focus on homelessness as a global phenomenon with an emphasis on those who are living on the street or in emergency shelters. IGH is a partnership between DePaul University (Chicago, USA), and Depaul International (London, UK), which provides direct services for people experiencing homelessness in the UK, Ireland, Ukraine, Slovakia, Croatia, USA, and France. Since 2017, IGH has worked with Vanguard Cities across six continents who have committed to local goals on homelessness and progressed towards those goals while learning from each other about what worked, what didn’t, and what can be done to end homelessness going forward. In the Vanguard Cities program, we emphasize the importance of collaboration, centering voices of lived experience, housing-led strategies, and the use of data and evidence to drive progress. Visit www.ighomelessness.org for more information.