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 Launches; Rotorua, New Zealand Establishes Housing First Program; Vincentian Family’s ’13 Homes’ Campaign; and More – Institute of Global Homelessness

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.