The European End Street Homelessness Campaign aims to end chronic street homelessness in up to 50 European cities by 2020. Cities that support and actively participate in the campaign agree to a set of five principles:
- Housing First: Ensuring (or working towards ensuring) homeless people are housed in permanent, safe, appropriate and affordable housing with support to sustain it.
- Knowing who’s out there: Getting to know every homeless person by name by going onto the streets to find them and assess their needs.
- Involving the community in solutions: Many people are concerned about the individuals in their communities who have no roof to sleep under and they want to play a meaningful part in helping to find solutions.
- Tracking progress: Regularly collecting person-specific data to accurately track progress toward ending homelessness.
- Improving local systems: Building coordinated housing and support systems that are simple to navigate, while targeting resources quickly to those who need it the most.
- Learning from and sharing with others: Working collaboratively to help the campaign make the biggest difference to those who are homeless.
In Europe, the campaign was launched in Barcelona and Valencia in Spain, and in Croydon and Westminster in the UK . Over 1,000 volunteers have taken part in local campaigns to date and there are now ten cities involved in the campaign. These are Alicante, Barcelona, Brighton, Brussels, Croydon, Glasgow, Leicester, Torbay, Valencia and Westminster.
Similar, successful campaigns have been run in the US and Canada. The US ‘100,000 Homes’ campaign mobilised 186 communities o ver 4 years to house over 100,000 chronically homeless people. In Canada, a similar campaign inspired by the US success, has so far mobilised 37 communities to house almost 4,000 people.
Using the experience of these campaigns we have assembled guidelines, templates and sample documents to help partners in European cities plan and run local campaigns to end street homelessness. We are grateful to Community Solutions in the US and the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness, as well as to individual campaign cities, for allowing us to share their materials here or adapt them to create templates for the European Campaign.
If you would like to give us your feedback on this toolkit, please email bshf [at] bshf.org.