#HomelessCensus: how to put an end to homelessness in Europe

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Júlia Bacardit
  • Homeless people census
    Homeless people census.
  • I am also Barcelona. Arrels Foundation campaign.
    I am also Barcelona. Arrels Foundation campaign. .
  • European End Street Homelessness campaign
    European End Street Homelessness campaign.
  • Volunteers of the North American '100,000 houses' campaign
    Volunteers of the North American '100,000 houses' campaign.

The night between the 5th and the 6th of June the Catalan Foundation for the rights of the homeless Arrels took some of its volunteers to the streets of Barcelona. Here are the results of the homeless census. 

That night, volunteers from Arrel’s foundation interviewed up to 315 homeless people, from which a 46% states they haven’t received any social help from any social worker.

Most of the homeless people living in Barcelona are men, and only 10% of the interviewed were female. The great majority of homeless men and women in Barcelona haven’t had a roof over their heads in more than a year, and 71% of them find themselves in extremely vulnerable situations.

According to Arrels Foundation, 3 out of 10 of the interviewed homeless in Barcelona have suffered from either verbal or physical violence, and some of them have been through both kinds of aggression.

Besides, 40% of these people have health problems that are aggravated by the adverse conditions they have to endure. As the above mentioned data shows, the aim of the homeless people census in Barcelona is to check on these people and to end chronic homelessness by 2020. 

The ‘European End Street Homelessness’ campaign

Censing the homeless people in Barcelona has also shown that a great deal of them are foreigners: 67,3% of them are not Spanish by origin. A 27% of the foregin homeless come from non-EU conturies, whereas a 40.3% of them have European documentation.

Arrels Foundation is not the first International Organization to take a census of the number of homeless people. Actually, the Catalan Foundation has renewed its census for the past three years in the frame of the ‘European End Strret Homelessness’ campaign, which aspires to put an end to chronic homelessness in two years, by 2020.

The ‘European End Street Homelessness’ campaign has extended to organizations of 50 European cities, and it is inspired in the ‘100.000 Homes’ North American housing campaign.

Among others, the cities involved in the ‘European End Street Homelessness’ campaign are Barcelona, València, Alacant, Bratislava, Brussel·les, Sheffield, Torbay and Westminster; all of the 50 cities have managed to move up to 1000 volunteers. 

The network of International organizations that are part of the campaign, like is the case of Arrels Foundation, have agred on the following statements:

Prioritize housing facilities, get to know the homeless people, involve communities, keep track of the policy progresses made, improve local systems and share knowledge and examples of good practices between Northern European organizations and Southern European organizations that stand for the rights of the homeless.

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