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social affairs

EUROCITIES Report on Cities’ Strategies Against Homelessness: The integrated chain approach - 2009 update


EUROCITIES EUROCITIES is the network of major European cities. Founded in 1986, the network brings together the local governments of more than 140 large cities in over 30 European countries. EUROCITIES represents the interests of its members and engages in dialogue with the European institutions across a wide range of policy areas affecting cities. These include: economic development, the environment, transport and mobility, social affairs, culture, the information and knowledge society, and services of general interest. EUROCITIES website: www.eurocities.eu


CONTENTS

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Introduction................................................................................. 2 Barcelona.................................................................................... 5 Bergen........................................................................................ 7 Munich........................................................................................ 9 Newcastle...................................................................................11 Oslo..........................................................................................13 Rotterdam...................................................................................15 Stockholm...................................................................................17 Utrecht......................................................................................19 Vienna.......................................................................................20 Conclusions.................................................................................22

This publication is commissioned under the European Community Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity (PROGRESS - 2007-2013). It was established to financially support the implementation of the objectives of the European Union in the employment and social affairs area, as set out in the Social Agenda. For more information see: http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catld=327&langld=en. European Commission

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The information contained in this publication does not necessarily reflect the position or opinion of the European Commission.

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Introduction The EUROCITIES working group on homelessness (WGH) was established in 2004. Members meet regularly to analyse policies and practices to prevent homelessness and support those who are homeless. The purpose of the WGH is to share best practices for preventing and reducing homelessness and the exclusion of vulnerable people from mainstream housing markets. The WGH has developed a transferable strategic model for preventing homelessness, which we call the ‘integrated chain’. This chain is an integrated housing market systems approach that refers to the city’s role in developing a range of commissioned services. These services work together under a common strategy that seeks to support homeless single people, couples or families. Within the chain there should be a range of services to meet the diverse needs of homeless people. The specifics of the integrated chain vary with local conditions, yet many of the measures are very similar. It is a flexible model that promotes the prevention of homelessness at the primary, secondary and crisis levels of intervention. The integrated chain model (see the diagram below) shows how all services in the city contribute to promoting people’s independence. This serves as a benchmarking, comparison and a diagnostic tool for mutual learning with the aim of improving policy integration and coordination. The diagram reflects the different levels in the housing market and is not meant to be viewed as a simple progression model that excludes housing first initiatives. The fight against homelessness is an on-going challenge in all European cities as it is at this local level where the problems of homelessness and social exclusion are most acute and visible. EUROCITIES working group homelessness continues to identify how best to prevent homelessness. We also work on developing the best methods on how to reintegrate homeless people into mainstream society. This includes establishing strategic frameworks and sharing the good practices adopted by other cities. We also measure the effectiveness of our strategies by their impact on service users. The integrated chain approach is reviewed periodically to monitor if and how the model makes a difference, through analysing comparative performance data. Cities have a wealth of experience in terms of innovative policies and practices that can contribute to the EU social inclusion and social protection process. They are the level of government closest to other key actors and to those people who are homelessness or at risk of social exclusion. Local governments are responsible for providing public services and adapting these services to the needs

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of homeless people. Cities are an essential partner for national governments for the development of a more coordinated, integrated and strategic approach to combating homelessness and social exclusion. The working groups first report on the integrated chain approach was published in 20061. In 2008-09, a report in eight languages2 gave an overview of the results of this work. This updated paper details the main components of the integrated chain approach by looking at the practical experience of nine cities (Barcelona, Bergen, Munich, Newcastle, Oslo, Rotterdam, Stockholm, Utrecht, and Vienna). It also outlines important issues that should be considered when developing a local strategy against homelessness. The Integrated Chain Model Independent housing Independent housing (e.g. municipal flats) Permanent accommodation with ongoing residential support

Accommodation with floating support

rooms

boarding

Accommodation with residential support for specific target groups

alcohol abuse

young people

drug abuse

mental health problems

women

medical care NGO

municipality

Accommodation with general residential support

Night shelters and/or emergency response accommodation

local NGO

NGO (e.g. church)

Crisis and support centres (specialist crisis support)

emergency provider

beds

Non-accommodation services

NGO (e.g. the Salvation Army)

Local NGO

municipality

NGO (e.g. Caritas)

Intake to the homeless services

Support to avoid/prevent homelessness

The white arrow shows the overall goal of integrated services: working together to support people at risk of homelessness to the highest possible level of independence. Each colour and line represents a type of support service with or without accommodation. 1 2

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www.eurocities.eu/uploads/load.php?file=Homelessness_final-AGOU.pdf. www.eurocities.eu/uploads/load.php?file=homelessGB_reduced-RMOO.pdf.

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The brown line at the bottom represents services designed to prevent homelessness or eviction. Above that is the silver line, representing how a person can enter the homelessness services. The light blue line above denotes the city’s non-accommodation services such as day centres and street work. Following from this is a deeper blue line, showing crisis and specialist support facilities. The red line displays night shelters or emergency response accommodation. For the purpose of this paper, the following distinction is made between ‘emergency’ and ‘crisis’ situations: the former refers to ‘rooflessness’ where people need a place to stay for the night; the latter applies to mental health, addiction or behavioural crises, where people need intense specialist assessment and support. The plum line shows a city’s’ accommodation provision with general residential support. It is usually transitional accommodation for non-specific groups. The orange line represents accommodation with residential support for specific target groups. The green line denotes services with floating support (also known as outreach support), where clients live alone but are visited by various officers. The yellow line represents accommodation with on-going residential support targeted at those who may find it difficult to regain their independence due to ongoing social, health or addiction problems. This type of service is seen as an alternative to independent housing. The white line refers to independent housing, here defined in terms of support status and living skills, where clients may still receive financial support or be visited by the prevention outreach services. People can move amongst these or skip some of these stages, depending on their needs. City services do not always fit neatly into this model; there are many nuances and variations. However representing them as we have done so here provides the basis for city representatives to compare and discuss their approaches and results. This also helps them identify gaps and improve services.

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Barcelona The objective of Barcelona’s Municipal Care for the Homeless programme is to improve the situation of homeless people in the city. This is done by ensuring comprehensive, quality care and customised support services that allows for the full reintegration of homeless people into society. It also simplifies access to resources and services so that homeless people can become independent. To this end, the aim of the programme is to establish a network of public agencies and NGOs that work together to support homeless people to independence. Barcelona has a specific model for assisting homeless people. It is jointly funded by local agencies and the regional government. It encompasses street assistance services, accommodation resources, day centres and specific care. A wide range of social actors are involved, through special agreements and pacts. Strategies and structure of services ƒƒ First of all, people’s needs are identified and their motivation and likelihood to accept help are assessed. Based on this assessment, links are established between the homeless person and the existing services; ƒƒ individualised support plans are developed for each person so that tailored pathways to independence can be established; ƒƒ intensive socio-educational support is given. This improves the chances that the person stays in accommodation and remains independent; and ƒƒ specific resources and services are developed according to the possible new needs of the client.

The services apply to the whole geographical area the city of Barcelona. This means that the planning and management of the services and resources used by the programme are attached to a municipal body that has the responsibility for action throughout the whole territory. In order to be able to provide assistance to people in the whole city, the programme is structured according to different types of services: ƒƒ initial reception and treatment assistance service; ƒƒ temporary residential protection services; ƒƒ day-centre service; ƒƒ basic assistance services: food and hygiene; and ƒƒ reintegration service: dwellings with socio-educational support.

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Challenges ƒƒ To understand the dynamics of extreme poverty and social exclusion in the city so as to improve the intervention processes; ƒƒ to generate specific social assistance resources and services which are adapted to the particular characteristics of the homeless population. This will help to ensure a tailored response to the specific needs and situation of the homeless person, allowing them to benefit fully from their home, job and social relations; ƒƒ to work with other city social welfare departments to simplify access to health care, training, employment, housing services and resources; and ƒƒ to create an integrated network of social organisations which can cover all the needs and elements of rehousing a homeless person.

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Bergen Bergen’s experience with homelessness shows that most people, when given accommodation, can cope with living by themselves as long as follow-up support is provided. However, for those homeless people with more complicated psychological and health problems, it is necessary to provide additional social support together with the accommodation. For a very small number of homeless people, protected housing is necessary, something which the city of Bergen is in the process of developing. Support is personalised according to the individual’s needs. In Bergen, the local strategy is a housing first policy. This means that homeless people have the same opportunities to access housing as non-homeless people, and, if necessary, receive support to live independently. Homeless people are also given individually designed and adapted support to help them to live independently in suitable accommodation. The aim is to offer homeless people good quality and permanent accommodation in residential housing. Another aim of the strategy is that no one should have to spend time in temporary accommodation when released from prison or when leaving an institution. Furthermore, people should not be offered overnight accommodation without a quality agreement, and should not reside in temporary accommodation for more than three months. In line with the Norwegian national strategy against homelessness, the policy aims to reduce the number of requests for eviction and the number of actual evictions. Status and challenges The latest figures show that the number of homeless people in Bergen decreased over the last three years. In 2005, the Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research (NIBR) counted 770 homeless people in Bergen. In 2008, that number fell to 669. Of these, 10% were under 24 years old and 28% were women. A national survey revealed that friends and relatives provide 40% of homeless people with accommodation and 42% live in temporary accommodation. The rest live in care facilities or in crisis centres. To continue reducing the number of homeless people, it is important to further develop the strategy. The greatest challenges to meet in order to achieve this goal are: ƒƒ assuring availability of housing; ƒƒ dealing with youth homelessness;

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ƒƒ developing floating support services for homeless people with a history of drug and substance abuse - the quantity and flexibility of these services is crucial to meeting their needs; ƒƒ user interaction; and ƒƒ bringing about a change in the culture of services to promote independence and social inclusion.

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Munich All homelessness services are delivered in accordance to Munich’s guiding principle of ‘homes instead of shelters’, with every case of homelessness treated holistically, taking the person’s personal situation into consideration. The Overall Plan for Social Housing and Homeless Support has guided the principles and aims of homeless policies in Munich since 2002. The plan has three main targets: ƒƒ to cut back on the use of emergency accommodation; ƒƒ to create sufficient suitable rental accommodation to meet needs; and ƒƒ to prevent homelessness by retaining tenancy relationships.

Munich has an individualised support system for the homeless, geared towards the various different target groups. It receives most of its funding from the municipal authorities. City authorities and independent NGOs implement the measures to tackle homelessness. Over the past years, the number of homeless people in Munich decreased considerably. In 2004, 4,180 people were homeless, while in 2008 the number was only 2,357. The number of homeless people living on the street or public spaces fell from 600 in 2006 to 340 in 2008.

Strategy Munich has set itself an ambitious objective: no one should become homeless in the city. In 2008, 6,665 households were at risk of becoming homeless. With this in mind, the department of social services launched a project called ‘Maßnahmen zum Erhalt von Mietverhältnissen’ (Measures Maintaining Tenancy Status) in early 2009. The project focused on: ƒƒ improving how initial contact is established with a household in order to prevent of homelessness; ƒƒ improving procedures to prevent homelessness when a tenancy agreement is terminated; ƒƒ better understanding a household’s problems through a systematic process; and ƒƒ stabilising rent payments and preventing cases from reoccurring through professional follow-up support in specific cases.

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Housing is obviously an important aspect of the struggle to reduce and prevent homelessness. The main objective of the municipal housing policy is to provide and/or create a minimum amount of affordable housing for (very) low- and average-income families. Munich initiated municipal assistance for developing reasonably priced accommodation through a housing policy action programme called ‘Wohnen in München’ (Living in Munich) , launched in 2001. In 2006 this action programme was supplemented by the ‘KomProB’ sub-programme (‘Purchase of Occupancy Rights’) – a municipal housing subsidy programme for homeless people. This provision is specifically targeted at people who may move from being homeless to living in supported or independent housing. Since 2002, up to 125 housing units are planned annually for disadvantaged people on the housing market. Across the city, social housing apartments are built in urban areas. They are subject to direct occupancy rights held by the Social Services Department. A total of 19 buildings comprising of around 440 living units will be completed by the end of 2009.

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Newcastle The main objectives of Newcastle’s homelessness policy are: ƒƒ to bring together homelessness services and extend the prevention of homelessness to reduce demand for crisis accommodation; ƒƒ to increase the supply of housing options available for preventing homelessness; ƒƒ to increase the amount and quality of accommodation available for those at risk of homelessness; and ƒƒ to improve governance and strengthen partnerships to meet cross-cutting needs.

The specific aims of the homelessness policy are: ƒƒ to maintain the practice of not using bed and breakfasts as accommodation; ƒƒ to reduce the number of evictions; ƒƒ to increase employment opportunities; ƒƒ to find solutions to reintegrate those most excluded from the housing market and society; and ƒƒ to increase the options for moving people into independent life.

Good practise The ‘Prevention from Eviction’ protocol requires social landlords to liaise with support agencies if there is a risk of eviction. This resulted in a reduction in social housing evictions from 261 in 2006/7 to 176 in 2008/9.

Challenges At present the most common last address given by a homeless person in Newcastle is a homeless hostel. To overcome this problem the Gateway was launched. This is a joint project led by Adult and Culture Services and the Commissioning Unit. It is a single access point for emergency and short-term supported accommodation to which agencies can refer clients. The Gateway project aims to play a significant part in changing the culture of relying on homeless hostels. This is done by reconciling the accommodation and support needs of some of the most challenging and socially excluded members of society, to the point of securing them accommodation.

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The Gateway creates a single register of people requiring supported housing and prioritises referrals to help target resources at those most in need. In the initial phase of the project, clients access the Gateway through statutory agencies within the city such as social services, the probation and youth offending team, mental health services and the Housing Advice Centre. The local authority believes that the cycle of homelessness is more likely to be broken if providers of support services work together to better match an individuals support and accommodation needs. The Gateway project seeks to resolve these issues by: ƒƒ providing a single register of people who require short-term supported accommodation; ƒƒ managing referrals into short term accommodation (both emergency and non emergency access) and floating support; ƒƒ better matching clients accommodation and support needs; ƒƒ reducing the number of inappropriate or unsuccessful referrals; ƒƒ encouraging continued engagement from the commissioning team; ƒƒ monitoring the match achieved between vacancies and individual needs; ƒƒ helping city authorities to understand the needs of people requiring short-term supported accommodation; ƒƒ providing evidence of met and unmet needs and contributing to the strategic commissioning process.

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Oslo Until a few years ago, support for disadvantaged groups in Oslo was characterised by an over abundance of competing agencies and a lack of strategic direction. Today, this responsibility is given to the Social Services Department in the local authority. Clients now present themselves at a single place to get the support they need for their housing problems. The local authority can then provide the necessary services and support or procure these from specialist agencies. Municipal accommodation is available for people whose needs are not met by the housing market or who cannot find a house or flat. Home ownership is promoted and support is given to find accommodation in the private market. For those people who cannot manage or maintain independent housing, individual support plans are developed based on their specific needs. The city of Oslo tries to support every individual in managing their own life by helping them to acquire the skills needed to live independently. As a part of this strategy, it was decided to minimise the use of private hostels for accommodation. If it is used, it must be temporary and based on quality agreement contracts. In line with the national strategy against homelessness, a further aim is to reduce the number of requests for eviction as well as the number of actual evictions. The city also aims to reduce the amount of time people spend in temporary housing to no more than three months and to have permanent housing available for people leaving institutions.

Challenges Over the last two years the city of Oslo focused on identifying people who use the emergency housing facilities. They improved the coordination between the emergency housing services and clarified the procedure for accessing emergency housing. All applicants for emergency housing must now visit and apply via the social services departments, one of which is open 24 hours. Through this the city has an overview on how the services are used. It is clear that a small group of clients, often heavy drug abusers and those with psychiatric and other problems, are using emergency housing regularly, even if they frequently are offered more permanent accommodation. This winter, Oslo conducted a survey on the number of real rough sleepers (sleeping outside more than 14 days). It appears that a small group of clients are not able to make use of the long-term housing services that are offered.

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The city is now starting a project to develop and build houses that better match client’s individual needs. They have some good experience through the projects that follow a Danish model of ‘unusual houses for unusual people’ - a facet of the Housing First approach. People with mental health or addiction problems are given their own house. These special arrangements are for people who are unable or unwilling to live in rehabilitation centres. They are visited regularly by a variety of support staff. The houses are monitored via technical devices and the social workers receive a text message on their mobile phone if there is a problem such as a fire alarm or electricity or heating failure, allowing them to notify the appropriate services.

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Rotterdam In 2006 the Dutch government and the country’s four major cities - Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht - presented the Strategy Plan for Social Relief (2006-2010) to improve the living conditions of the homeless or those who are at risk of becoming homeless. Central to the plan is individualised treatment based on cooperation, mutual trust and a solution-oriented approach. At the end of the programme, the target group should be fully independent and the anti-social behaviour and criminal offences committed by this target group declined to less than 75% of the 2006 levels. A further objective of the plan is to avoid evictions. In the event of unavoidable evictions, the person or persons being evicted should be given alternative accommodation and proper follow-up support.

Status 2009 At the end of 2009 there were 2,989 homeless people with an individualised and integrated plan to get them out of homelessness. However, some homeless people have not entered the programme yet. A combination of social support and law enforcement is needed to keep them in care and sustainable housing. However, even this approach does not guarantee that everyone will be catered to and in the end there will probably still be a small number of people that simply cannot be taken into care. In recent years there has been a huge increase in the amount of special accommodation and housing projects in Rotterdam (an approach that focuses on less shelters and more care). This has not always been easy, due to the ‘NIMBY’ (Not In My Back Yard) effect. For this reason, it is necessary to create more awareness amongst ordinary citizens of the city’s approach and of the need to provide accommodation for homeless people.

Challenges In Rotterdam, ‘Centraal Onthaal’ is a prominent part of the Strategy Plan for Social Relief. It provides a central screening system and register of all the homeless people in the city. It also promotes the smooth transition from shelters to sustainable housing. All homeless people are obliged to go to the Centraal Onthaal office in order to access a night shelter. They can go there directly or with the help of

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NGO social workers or field workers. As part of Centraal Onthaal social workers and homelessness people together agree on a tailor-made individual support and guidance plan, which are based on a comprehensive assessment of the persons situation and needs. People under the age of 23 are referred to a special project to prevent them from becoming long-term homeless, while women who have fled from domestic violence are referred for special care in secret units. Rotterdam uses a ‘regional binding’ approach which means that only people who are registered as inhabitants of the Rotterdam region are helped with a plan and sustainable housing. If they are not registered, they must be known to the care providers. Otherwise, people only have temporarily access to the shelters and they will be helped to return to their region of origin. According to the Dutch state law (‘Koppelingswet’) cities cannot shelter undocumented migrants.

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Stockholm The city of Stockholm’s homelessness strategy is based on a system of housing and support, working within an integrated and coordinated ‘chain’. The chain consists of shelters, low-threshold institutions, general and specialist supported accommodation, permanent places and training flats. Over the last few years, the city has provided more permanent places to improve the chain. Stockholm also focuses on preventing evictions. The responsibility for this lies with the 14 city districts and some have already had some success, for example through cooperation with private landlords. This good practice has now spread to the whole city. Over the last years the number of training apartments has increased. This is an important part of the chain and is often the last step a formerly homeless person takes before full independence. To succeed in living independently, wherever in the chain, people need individually tailored support. Stockholm recognises the need for improvement in the coordination of support for people with mental health problems which is provided by the social welfare service and the county council responsible for health care.

Challenges Young homeless people The aim of the city is to halve the number of homeless people in shelters and rough sleepers by 2013. One way to do this is to work more actively with homeless young people and with young people at risk of becoming homeless. This prevents their situation from becoming more permanent and the city from having a new generation of homeless people. In 2006 there were more young adults staying in the shelters in the city than ever before. The city launched a project called ‘Young adults in shelters’, aimed at 20-25 years olds. Two social workers were directly responsible for meeting the needs of young adults looking for shelter. They worked intensively with the young adults, altogether 85 men and women, over a 15-month period. Different kinds of support were offered to help find alternative accommodation. A survey of the clients found that the majority of them were young adult males of migrant origin. Many of them had almost no social network, on going substance abuse problems and were early school leavers. The results of the project were good, and the city is now considering if there are ways to continue the work.

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From supported accommodation to an apartment Over 60% of homeless people in Stockholm stay in supported accommodation of some kind. Although many of them are ready to live in an apartment of their own with some ‘floating’ support, for a number of reasons they are not able to do this. The most prevalent reasons are: ƒƒ debts: it is difficult to get an apartment if you are in debt. The city offers debt counselling, but normally it takes a long time to get this support; ƒƒ lack of trial and training apartments: more apartments are available now but there are still not enough; ƒƒ lack of focus within the supported accommodation on ‘next steps’: many longterm homeless people need to learn and be trained in basic living and apartment skills. This process takes some time.

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Utrecht In 2006 the Dutch government and the four major Dutch cities - Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht - presented the Strategy Plan for Social Relief (2006-2010) to improve the living conditions of the homeless or those who are at risk of becoming homeless. Central to the plan is individualised treatment based on cooperation, mutual trust and a solution-orientated approach. At the end of the programme, the target group should be fully functioning independent members of society. Furthermore by 2010, the anti-social behaviour and criminal offences committed by this target group should have declined to less than 75% of the 2006 levels. A further objective of the plan is to avoid evictions. In the event of unavoidable evictions, the person or persons being evicted should be given alternative accommodation and proper follow-up support. Status The housing situation in Utrecht had deteriorated. This was a concern as it made it more difficult to place people in permanent housing. The effect was that these people remained in hostels longer than was desirable. There was also a growing resistance from citizens when developing or building accommodation for homeless and people with addiction problems (the ‘Not In My Back Yard’ effect). At the beginning of 2009, 429 clients had an individual integrated care and housing plan. Over 230 clients had a stabilised housing situation (this means spending at least three months under a roof, with a bed and a meal). In 2009 a re-activation tool was developed, making it possible to match the needs of clients with the services offered in the Utrecht region. The experimental ‘prevention of eviction’ programme has been implemented in the whole city and is very successful: 250 people consulted the programme and in 90% of the cases, eviction was prevented. Challenges At the end of 2009 there was a memorandum of agreement between the NGO’s and the municipality concerning a central registration of the people who use the night shelters (implemented in 2010). With most accommodation full, the focus of the city will be on preventing homelessness, particularly amongst young people. This means that cooperation will be sought with other organisations rather than just with those NGOs focused on homelessness.

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Vienna The Viennese Assistance Programme for the Homeless gives a comprehensive and varied range of possibilities for integrating homeless and roofless people into society. Status The Viennese figures on homelessness are taken from information on the number of people in night shelters and of those in short and long-term housing with homeless support. In 2008, 1,680 people stayed at overnight shelters, 130 people used the emergency overnight shelter for women and 210 people spent one or more nights at the emergency shelter for men. In all, 3,270 people made use of short term housing in institutions for homeless people (including 700 places for special target groups and 390 places for mothers with children; 1,290 people lived in flats with support and 910 people lived in long-term housing for homeless people. Challenges The expansion of the socially supported housing scheme began in 2004. Socially supported houses are facilities for persons who can no longer live independently. The target groups are persons from the Viennese Assistance Programme for the Homeless and people from nursing facilities who have recovered from their illnesses, but no longer have flats of their own. It is planned that 700-1,000 socially supported housing places will be created by 2010. In the meantime, 400 places are available. Another 354 socially supported residential places will be complete in 2010. For this reason, the construction and launch of the planned socially supported houses will be the central focus of the Viennese Assistance Programme for the Homeless in the coming years. Future In the future, the Viennese Assistance Programme for the Homeless will focus on non-residents (migrants). Outreach support will target homeless persons and families as well as families awarded asylum status. Currently, plans are being developed aimed at providing direct access to an affordable flat of one’s own and offering services to stabilise the housing and the personal situation of the homeless person according to their individual needs. In the coming years, the focus will be put on projects for families awarded asylum status, which aims not only to find long-term housing, but also takes the issue of integration into account. These will include combining aspects of the labour market, integration and education, e.g. German language courses.

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The key issues will be: ƒƒ the situation of women in the Viennese Assistance Programme for the Homeless; ƒƒ gender mainstreaming; and ƒƒ drug addicts and persons with mental health problems. The results to date are being integrated into new projects and facilities. The Viennese Assistance Programme for the Homeless has created special provisions for women, e.g. sheltered residential places for women. There are also specific residential places for men. These places are linked to projects, for example in the field of health. The liaison service of the psychosocial service in Vienna for persons with mental health problems in the facilities of the Viennese Assistance Programme for the Homeless and the night shelters is also being expanded.

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Conclusions The most successful tool in preventing homelessness is a well-developed system of integrated services working together to intervene at an early stage. While the causes of homelessness are manifold and local conditions will always have to be considered, there are common aspects of homelessness that can best be tackled by a strategic coordinated approach that includes: ƒƒ professional support and advice for people who are at risk of becoming homeless; ƒƒ temporary accommodation for homeless people that is geared towards supporting them into independent living and their (re)integration into the mainstream housing market; ƒƒ transitory accommodation with support that helps prepare people for independence; ƒƒ specialised long-term accommodation for people who cannot live independently; ƒƒ professional social support to prevent and end homelessness is crucial to help people back into independent living; and ƒƒ identifying the powers and resources available to the city to support change.

Challenges and obstacles The social, political and economic context within which homelessness occurs varies substantially across countries and between individual cities. Whilst there is broad agreement about the need for an integrated approach, the different conditions can lead to obstacles in the implementation of it. It is expected that, as a consequence of the economic crisis, more people will be at risk of becoming homeless, due to job loss and consequently, loss of their home. Cities need to be aware and need to have proper instruments to help the new at-risk group.

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EUROCITIES Square de Meeûs, 1 B-1000 Brussels Tel. +32 2 552 08 88 Fax +32 2 552 08 89 info@eurocities.eu www.eurocities.eu

December 2009

EUROCITIES Report on Cities’ Strategies Against Homelessness: The integrated chain approach - 2009 update

Cities' Strategies Against Homelessness: the integrated chain approach - 2009  

A review of nine cities' strategies on dealing with homelessness - Barcelona, Bergen, Munich, Newcastle, Oslo, Rotterdam, Stockholm, Utrech...

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