The #StandUpForHomelessPeople movement asks all candidates in the upcoming elections for European Parliament, on May 26, to take on this commitment.
The number of people sleeping on the streets in Europe continues to increase. The data suggests that there are, at least, 700,000 homeless people on the European continent who do not have access to decent housing, due to a lack of resources.
The reality of homelessness in Europe is driving Catalan organizations, such as the Arrels Foundation, to take advantage of the European election campaigns on May 26. They are attempting to influence European parliament candidates to join the movement #StandUpForHomelessPeople, demanding that institutions take action in the fight against homelessness.
The campaign, promoted by the European Federation of National Organizations Working with the Homeless (FEANTSA), is driven by these five demands:
- Make more effective use of existing political instruments. According to FEANTSA, the EU has asked Member States to design and implement strategies to address the situation of homeless people. However, most countries are not applying these guidelines and the EU does not prioritize social policies to combat this problem.
- Support homeless people across all areas, and in a transversal way.
- Monitor the situation of homeless people and extend these practices to all EU member states. The organization proposes to compare the socioeconomic indicators of the Member States. On this point, FEANTSA recriminates that the set of EU statistics does not cover data on homeless people, which makes it difficult to track them.
- Defend the rights of homeless people. Organizations involved in the field of homelessness report, in their respective states, that these rights are often violated and criminalized.
- Use EU funds to invest in ending the situation of homeless people. Currently, according to FEANTSA, resources for community and member countries are not enough to provide long-term solutions.
This organization works to remind all EU member states that the commitments adopted under the Sustainable Development Goals of 2030 include the eradication of extreme poverty and access to affordable housing. However, according to the organization, these two goals will be far from being fulfilled if firm policies are not adopted.
FEANTSA, together with organizations such as the European Observatory on Homelessness and Housing Right Watch, place all third-party organizations that join the campaign into the European Social Sector through social networks, using the hashtags #BeFairEU and #StandUpForHomelessPeople.
The campaign encourages entities to mention local, national, and European politicians through their social networks using these hashtags, and to ask them to commit themselves to support homeless people.