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THE INTEGRATED CHAIN City APPROACH strategies against homelessness


The EUROCITIES Working Group on Homelessness - cities and participants:

Barcelona: Carmen Fortea-Busquets

Bergen:

Xavier Mayo Anne Turid Aandahl

Malmo:

Rolf L. Nilson

Newcastle:

Neil Munslow

Munich:

Angela Zeilinger

Oslo:

Tilde Hagen Knudtzon

Riga:

Morten Mjelve Solvita Rugovita Ilze Vigante

Rotterdam:

Christl van Gerven

Laura Hoekstra

Stockholm:

Nina Strรถm

Utrecht:

Martin Bluijs

Dick Reinking

Gerhard Eitel

Vienna:

Warsaw: Anna Jankowska-Bichta

Anna Markiewicz

EUROCITIES: Simon Guentner, Senior Policy Officer Social Affairs

This brochure was produced in November 2008

THE INTEGRATED CHAIN City APPROACH

strategies against homelessness


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_EUROCITIES Working Group on Homelessness (WGH) EUROCITIES

Working Group on Homelessness (WGH)

EUROCITIES is the network of major European cities. Founded in 1986, the network brings together the local governments of more than

The WGH (established in 2004) is chaired by the city of Vienna and currently has 12 members: Barcelona, Bergen, Malmo, Newcastle,

130 large cities in over 30 European countries. EUROCITIES provides a platform for its member cities to share knowledge and ideas,

Munich, Oslo, Riga, Rotterdam, Stockholm, Utrecht, Vienna and Warsaw. The WGH is open to all member cities of EUROCITIES.

to exchange experiences, to analyse common problems and develop innovative solutions, through a wide range of Forums, Working

Participation to the meetings (2 per year) is free of charge and newcomers are welcome.

Groups, projects, activities and events. EUROCITIES works along 3 strands of activities:

It pursues both strategic and operational objectives.

• Networking - Sharing and improving knowledge

Strategic objectives:

• Lobbying - Developing and influencing policies

• overall reduction of the number of homeless people

• Campaigning - Raising public awareness

• elimination of homelessness for families

• abolition of long-term homelessness (more than 2 years in transitory institutions)

The network is active across a wide range of policy areas which are addressed within six different thematic forums, in which different groups of cities participate.

Operational objectives:

• develop European quality principles for services for homeless people as well as for services to prevent homelessness and to sustain

Social Affairs Forum

• identify good practices on empowering homeless people

The EUROCITIES Social Affairs Forum (SAF) follows two objectives:

• point out policy recommendations based on ongoing comparison and analysis of cities’ strategies to prevent and tackle

• Support of exchanges of experience and know-how among cities working to tackle poverty and social exclusion, to eradicate all

• Strengthen the involvement of local authorities in the development and implementation of national and European social policies.

accommodation

homelessness

forms of discrimination and to improve the integration of migrants and asylum seekers. The purpose of the WGH is to share best practices on the means of reducing homelessness and the exclusion of vulnerable people from mainstream housing markets. The WGH has developed a tool for comparative analysis to identify the differences between the member Currently, eight Working Groups are in place to carry out the activities of the SAF:

cities in terms of scale of homelessness, the resources available in each member city to deal with this problem; and the strategic and

• WG Employment

legislative framework services are provided within. Gradually there has been a transition from identifying irreconcilable differences to the

• WG Health and Wellbeing

recognition of common areas of practice.

• WG Homelessness

• WG Housing

The WGH applies the definition of homelessness ETHOS (see appendix II) as developed by FEANTSA, the European Federation of National

• WG Inclusion through Education

Organisations working with the homeless. Building on this definition, the WGH set out to develop various models for comparison and

• WG Migration and Integration

classification that were used as working tools.

• WG Social Inclusion

• WG Urban Security.

INCLUSIVE CITIES FOR EUROPE In 2008, EUROCITIES started a 3-year partnership with the European Commission to improve the contribution of cities to the EU Social Inclusion Process. The programme “Inclusive Cities for Europe” includes numerous activities to raise the voice of cities in the Open Method of Coordination (by which Member States coordinate their social policies at European level) and supports EUROCITIES’ policy work on social affairs and related issues. It is co-financed by the European Community Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity - PROGRESS.


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0_Contents

1_Introduction: The Integrated Chain Approach

_EUROCITIES Working Group on Homelessness (WGH) � 4

The EUROCITIES Working Group on Homelessness (WGH) was established in 2004. It is chaired by the city of Vienna and currently has 12 members: Barcelona, Bergen, Malmo, Newcastle, Munich, Oslo, Riga, Rotterdam, Stockholm, Utrecht, Vienna and Warsaw. The WGH meets regularly to analyse policy and practice in preventing homelessness. This includes analysis of the interventions

1_Introduction: The Integrated Chain Approach (ICA) � 7

and services aimed at supporting people who have previously been homeless but are now in accommodation.

To better understand the overall situation in a city, the WGH carries out visits and systematic information exchanges to compare the effectiveness and transferability of strategies and

2_Aims: Independent Living � 11

3_Strategies: A roof is not enough � 12

well as measures for preventing homelessness and sustaining accommodation. In doing this

4_Measures: Diversified tools are critical � 13

5_Coordination: Providing space for exchange � 14

service provision. The WGH develops recommendations for services for homeless people, as we recognise that due to the differences between countries there may be inconsistencies in the terminology. However our focus is on the similarities, not the differences. Therefore, we use

6_Framework conditions � 15

7_Challenges and obstacles � 17

terms most acceptable to the majority of the group. The role of the city is to provide leadership, direction and coordination to enable all stakeholders to improve the outcomes for service users. We have sought to establish common principles rather than detailed joint procedures. This is because we seek to

8_Outlook � 19

serve clients who have similar needs in different legislative and financial contexts.

App. I_ ETHOS European Typology of Homelessness � 21

App. II_ Practical examples � 22

The WGH has developed a transferable strategic model for preventing homelessness, which we have called the “integrated chain”. The “integrated chain“ is a ’whole systems approach’ that refers to the city’s role in developing a range of commissioned services working together under

_Web links � 26

a common strategy that seeks to support homeless households (by which we mean single people couples or families) in their progress to the optimum level of independence and social inclusion. 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 which are put in place in the different cities are very similar.


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Within the “integrated chain” approach, the services should follow some guiding principles. In particular, they

SUPPORT FOR THE HOMELESS PERSONS

should demonstrate: • Respect for the service user

Independent housing (e.g. municipal flats)

• Strong evidence base for commissioning that includes aggregated citywide quantitative data and qualitative information from service users and front-line staff • Focus on reconciling accommodation, health and social needs

Permanent places

• Support for people to reach their optimum levels of independence • Client focused support plans that are shared between agencies to provide seamless services • Comprehensive responses to multiple needs including health care • The allocation of accommodation and support in relation to need

Places to live in supported accommodation (s.a.)

rooms

boarding

Number of places to live for a specific target group

alcohol abuse

young people

drug abuse

local NGO

NGO (e.g. church)

municipality

• Strategic framework that relates funding to performance • Strong performance management of agencies’ contribution to meeting strategic objectives • The development of a consensus to legitimise strategic leadership and communication of agreed aims • Continual improvement of the quality of services and the buildings they are provided from. The diagram below is a model of the “integrated chain” which shows how all services in the city contribute towards promoting independence. This serves as both a scoping and directional tool. Implicit in the model is the aim of improving integration and

Night shelters

mental health problems

women

coordination. The red arrow marks the «integrated chain» to demonstrate the overall goal of integrated services working together to support people at risk of homelessness to the highest possible level of independence. Crisis and emergency centres Each colour and line represents a level of support services and each box

emergency provider

beds

NGO (e.g. Caritas)

Medical care NGO

represents a service facility. The blue line at the bottom of the slide represents all services that are not tied to accommodation. The blue line above represents emergency accommodation. Red and orange refer to different kinds of shelters,

Day centres and streetwork

the green line to supported accommodation in flats. The yellow line represents

NGO (e.g. Salvation Army)

Local NGO

permanent places for people who require ongoing support or care. Total places to live

Central intake homeless services

Support to avoid homelessness (e.g. prevention of eviction)

municipality


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2_ Aims: Independent living Some of the cities have been operating integrated programmes for over ten years. Whilst

The main goal of all members of the WGH is to reduce homelessness in their city. Usually, aims are set at city

overall the approach has been successful, experience shows that this work is not an exact

level, in consultation with providers and other relevant groups. In some cases, they are supported by quantita-

science and calculated risks need to be taken and evaluated. We must also have the courage

tive targets. The following examples give examples of cities’ objectives:

to end programmes which have met their objectives. Utrecht, for example invested heavily in supporting 600 drug addicts to stop rough sleeping. This programme which began in 2000 has reduced the numbers to around 35 and services have been reduced accordingly. There are savings to be made across Europe by cities learning from each other’s successes and failures. Over the last few years, the member cities of the WGH put considerable energy into improving coordination between relevant stakeholders in healthcare, housing and the labour market. They have worked towards securing the necessary amount of affordable accommodation and appropriate support for homeless people. It is crucial to understand and acknowledge the individual needs of homeless people and to arrange services in an integrated and coordinated way. This requires joint working between the public and NGO services. They have to cooperate positively and understand their role within the system and how this contributes to the individual’s long term wellbeing.

Barcelona

This brochure gives an overview of the main components of the integrated chain approach and points to important issues which should be considered when developing a local strategy against homelessness. The members of the WGH understand that not all cities will have sufficient resources to adopt all aspects of the model. However, they may apply the general principles and use the model to prioritise on where to focus limited resources, and in doing so to secure best value from those resources.

In Barcelona, the objective of the Municipal Care for the Homeless Programme is to improve the situation for homeless people, assuring comprehensive, quality care that will guarantee that they have customised paths to integrate into society. These paths will facilitate access for homeless people to resources and services, enabling them to become independent. To this end, the aim is to establish a network of public and NGO agencies working together to support homeless people to independence.


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2_ Aims: Independent living Some of the cities have been operating integrated programmes for over ten years. Whilst overall

The main goal of all members of the WGH is to reduce homelessness in their city. Usually, aims are set at city

the approach has been successful, experience shows that this work is not an exact science and

level, in consultation with providers and other relevant groups. In some cases, they are supported by quantita-

calculated risks need to be taken and evaluated. There must also be the courage to end pro-

tive targets. The following examples give examples of cities’ objectives:

grammes which have met their objectives. Utrecht, for example invested heavily in supporting 600 drug addicts to stop rough sleeping. This programme which began in 2000 has reduced the numbers to around 35 and services have been reduced accordingly. There are savings to be made across Europe by cities learning from each other’s successes and failures. Over the last years, the member cities of the WGH put considerable energy into improving coordination between relevant stakeholders in healthcare, housing and labour market. They worked towards securing a necessary amount of affordable accommodation and appropriate support for homeless people. It is crucial to understand and acknowledge the individual needs of homeless people and to arrange services in an integrated and coordinated way. This requires joint working of public and NGO services. They have to cooperate positively and understand their role within the system and how this contributes to the individual’s long term

Bergen

wellbeing.

Munich In Bergen, the local strategy

The city of Munich pursues the following main aims in combating

focuses on a “housing first”

homelessness:

policy

accommodation” and “Avoid homelessness by securing long-term housing”. All

people

in

which have

homeless

the

housing

takes

priority

over

emergency

same

temporary forms of housing such as emergency accommodation, bed and breakfast and

opportunities to acquire normal

welfare facilities are geared towards these goals, both in terms of their furnishings

housing as everybody else and,

and the social support provided. The city has also taken successful measures to

if necessary, be given support to

ensure that fewer homeless people live on the streets.

live independently. Homeless people are given individually adapted

designed support

to

and live

independently in their own accommodation. The city aims to offer homeless people decent permanent accommodation in normal residential areas. In line with the national strategy against homelessness, a further aim is to reduce the number of petitions for eviction and the number of actual evictions. Nobody should have to spend time in temporary accommodation when released from prison or when leaving an institution. Furthermore, nobody is to be offered overnight accommodation without a quality agreement, and nobody is to reside in temporary accommodation for more than three months.

“Permanent


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2_ Aims: Independent living Some of the cities have been operating integrated programmes for over ten years. Whilst overall

The main goal of all members of the WGH is to reduce homelessness in their city. Usually, aims are set at city

the approach has been successful, experience shows that this work is not an exact science and

level, in consultation with providers and other relevant groups. In some cases, they are supported by quantita-

calculated risks need to be taken and evaluated. There must also be the courage to end pro-

tive targets. The following examples give examples of cities’ objectives:

grammes which have met their objectives. Utrecht, for example invested heavily in supporting 600 drug addicts to stop rough sleeping. This programme which began in 2000 has reduced the numbers to around 35 and services have been reduced accordingly. There are savings to be made across Europe by cities learning from each other’s successes and failures. Over the last years, the member cities of the WGH put considerable energy into improving coordination between relevant stakeholders in healthcare, housing and labour market. They worked towards securing a necessary amount of affordable accommodation and appropriate support for homeless people. It is crucial to understand and acknowledge the individual needs of homeless people and to arrange services in an integrated and coordinated way. This requires joint working of public and NGO services. They have to cooperate positively and understand their role within the system and how this contributes to the individual’s long term

Newcastle

wellbeing.

Oslo In Newcastle, the main aims are to prevent homelessness wherever possible and

The city of Oslo seeks to support every

to support people to sustain themselves in the community. Specific objectives

individual to master their own life by

are to reduce rough sleeping, to reduce the use of B&B, to reduce the common

acquiring control and social skills to live

causes of homelessness, to reduce repeat homelessness, to reduce the use of

independently. As part of that strategy,

inappropriate temporary accommodation and to reduce evictions. Further goals

the city decided to reduce the use of

are to improve the strategic infrastructure and to increase the number of positive

private hostels to a minimum. Furthermore

move-ons from supported housing.

their use 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. Another objective is to reduce the time in temporary housing to no more than three months and to have permanent housing available for people leaving institutions.


Riga

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2_ Aims: Independent living Some of the cities have been operating integrated programmes for over ten years. Whilst overall

The main goal of all members of the WGH is to reduce homelessness in their city. Usually, aims are set at city

the approach has been successful, experience shows that this work is not an exact science and

level, in consultation with providers and other relevant groups. In some cases, they are supported by quantita-

calculated risks need to be taken and evaluated. There must also be the courage to end pro-

tive targets. The following examples give examples of cities’ objectives:

grammes which have met their objectives. Utrecht, for example invested heavily in supporting 600 drug addicts to stop rough sleeping. This programme which began in 2000 has reduced the numbers to around 35 and services have been reduced accordingly. There are savings to be made across Europe by cities learning from each other’s successes and failures. Over the last years, the member cities of the WGH put considerable energy into improving coordination between relevant stakeholders in healthcare, housing and labour market. They worked towards securing a necessary amount of affordable accommodation and appropriate support for homeless people. It is crucial to understand and acknowledge the individual needs of homeless people and to arrange services in an integrated and coordinated way. This requires joint working of public and NGO services. They have to cooperate positively and understand their role within the system and how this contributes to the individual’s long term wellbeing.

Stockholm In Riga, the goal is to prevent homelessness. The main city’s tasks are to

Since 1999, the city of Stockholm has a

increase opportunities for people to find affordable accommodation and

“roof over the head guarantee”, which

to provide timely housing advice. Research is carried out about the causes

guarantees to provide everyone in need

of homelessness, and street work projects are developed. Persons at risk of

of a shelter a bed before midnight.

homelessness are provided with support and help, including housing

Another aim is to increase the use of

benefit.

permanent apartments for homeless people, instead of shelters and temporary places. Stockholm has based its policy on an “integrated chain” model for homeless people. This chain is flexible and contains many

different

alternatives

to

suit

individuals’ needs. But housing itself cannot solve the problem of homelessness, so

work

training,

substance

abuse

treatment and other services are provided for the homeless people who cannot find employment.


Utrecht

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2_ Aims: Independent living Some of the cities have been operating integrated programmes for over ten years. Whilst overall

The main goal of all members of the WGH is to reduce homelessness in their city. Usually, aims are set at

the approach has been successful, experience shows that this work is not an exact science and

city level, in consultation with providers and other relevant groups. In some cases, they are supported by

calculated risks need to be taken and evaluated. There must also be the courage to end pro-

quantitative targets. The following examples showcase cities’ objectives:

grammes which have met their objectives. Utrecht, for example invested heavily in supporting 600 drug addicts to stop rough sleeping. This programme which began in 2000 has reduced the numbers to around 35 and services have been reduced accordingly. There are savings to be made across Europe by cities learning from each other’s successes and failures. Over the last years, the member cities of the WGH put considerable energy into improving coordination between relevant stakeholders in healthcare, housing and labour market. They worked towards securing a necessary amount of affordable accommodation and appropriate support for homeless people. It is crucial to understand and acknowledge the individual needs of homeless people and to arrange services in an integrated and coordinated way. This requires joint working of public and NGO services. They have to cooperate positively and understand their role within the system and how this contributes to the individual’s long term wellbeing.

Vienna In Utrecht, the National Strategic Plan for Social Relief from 2006 was a breakthrough in integral

A key objective of the social policy in Vienna is to

care for the 1250 people who are literally homeless, or live in hostels, and the 3200 people at risk

improve opportunities for citizens with disabilities,

of homelessness. The aim of this plan, which covers the four largest cities in the Netherlands, is

older people, homeless people, families and children

to improve the living conditions and health of people at risk of homelessness.

in financial and social crisis situations. A further

The Strategic Plan has been followed by a city partnership, expanding the coalition of the city

important aim is to provide a range of accommodation

with Agis, the regional care agency for the AWBZ [National Act on Exceptional Medical Expenses],

to meet all individuals’ needs. Overall, the policy is

the care and shelter services, police, criminal justice system and social housing companies.

characterised by three central ideas:

The joint aim of this partnership is to provide all homeless people with a personal pathway to

• Prevention and early intervention:

independence. In order to reach this, the following investments were agreed upon:

Homelessness is a social problem, beyond the

• An improved gateway (Broad Central Access) to integrated services including care,

absence of accommodation, with far-reaching

housing, finance/income, day activities, including a client tracking system to monitor

consequences. A wider public can be educated and

access, stabilisation and effects of the pathways on health, personal and social functioning,

engaged by improving the understanding of the

• Strengthening of programmes to prevent homelessness,

• More residential housing, day activities and other programmes for reintegration and community support,

specific problems of homeless people. • Working together: In cooperation with the clients, special attention is paid to empowerment and strengthening their

• More differentiated, small scale residential housing facilities,

capacities for self-help and to see them as partners. The clients play an active part in developing their own support

• Strengthening of client participation and empowerment programmes.

plans

Three subprogrammes were launched on the themes access, prevention and rehabilitation. The city of Utrecht is responsible

• Long term sustainability: Further support is provided to help the person

for the plan, the finances are jointly managed with the care agency and health care insurance agencies. The programme is

maintain his/her independence. The evaluation of the support and care

overseen by a steering committee which is made up of city representatives, care agency, care providers, housing company,

provision is necessary to develop customer oriented provision and to ensure

police and justice system. The committee develops and monitors the implementation of the plan.

high quality services.


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3_Strategies: A roof is not enough

4_Measures: Diversified tools are crucial A well-developed system of integrated services working together to intervene early is most likely to succeed in preventing

more than the lack of accommodation. Many different needs have to be considered in any strategy against homelessness. Support

homelessness. Whilst the causes of homelessness are manifold and local conditions will always have to be considered, the-

has to be targeted and tailored to the individual needs and circumstances. As these needs vary within and between cities, the

re are common aspects of homelessness which can best be tackled by a strategic coordinated approach that includes:

local approaches will differ, but the common theme is that multidimensional responses are most effective for achieving long term

• Professional support and advice for people who are at risk of becoming homeless

success. Below are some examples of successful city strategies against homelessness.

• Temporary accommodation for homeless persons that is geared towards supporting people to independent

Barcelona

Homelessness is a complex phenomenon. To be effective, strategies must recognise that the causes of homelessness are generally

living and (re)integration into the mainstream housing market.

• Transitory accommodation with support that helps prepare people for independence.

• Specialised long-term accommodation for people who cannot live independently

• Professional social support to prevent and terminate homelessness is crucial to help people back into independent living

• Identifying the powers and resources available to the city to support change

The following basic model shows the main categories of services and measures available for the work with homeless people.

Bergen The city of Barcelona has established a specific

Bergen’s

model for assisting homeless people which

people can cope by themselves in their own

is jointly funded by local agencies and the

accommodation with follow-up support.

regional government. It encompasses street

For some people with more complicated

assistance services, accommodation resources, day

problems, it is also necessary to provide

centres and specific care. The approach is based on

support in addition to accommodation. For a

cooperation with a broad range of social actors

very small number of homeless people there

based on pacts and agreements.

is a need for protected housing, something

experience

shows

that

most

which the city has not yet developed. Support is personalised according to the individual’s needs.


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3_Strategies: A roof is not enough

4_Measures: Diversified tools are crucial

Homelessness is a complex phenomenon. To be effective, strategies must recognise that the causes of homelessness are generally

A well-developed system of integrated services working together to intervene early is most likely to succeed in preventing

more than the lack of accommodation. Many different needs have to be considered in any strategy against homelessness. Support

homelessness. Whilst the causes of homelessness are manifold and local conditions will always have to be considered, the-

has to be targeted and tailored to the individual needs and circumstances. As these needs vary within and between cities, the

re are common aspects of homelessness which can best be tackled by a strategic coordinated approach that includes:

local approaches will differ but the common theme is that multidimensional responses are most effective to achieving long term

• Professional support and advice for people who are at risk of becoming homeless

success. Below are some examples of successful city strategies against homelessness.

• Temporary accommodation for homeless persons that is geared towards supporting people to independent living and (re)integration into the mainstream housing market.

• Transitory accommodation with support that helps prepare people for independence.

• Specialised long-term accommodation for people who cannot live independently

• Professional social support to prevent and terminate homelessness is crucial to help people back into independent living

• Identifying the powers and resources available to the city to support change

The following basic model shows the main categories of services and measures available for the work with homeless people.

The city of Munich has a widely differentiated

Stockholm’s homelessness strategy is based on a range of housing and

system of support for homeless people which

support work within an integrated and coordinated ”chain”. The chain

is geared towards the various different target

contains shelters, low-threshold institutions, specialist and general

groups and largely financed by the city. These

supported accommodation, permanent places, and training flats etc. Over

services are partly provided by independent

the last few years, the city has started to provide more permanent places to

welfare groups (NGOs) and partly by the city.

improve the chain. Stockholm also focuses on the prevention of evictions.

The most important aid programmes for

The responsibility for prevention from eviction lies with the 14 districts in

citizens suffering from acute homelessness

the city and some have already produced good results, for example through

are

for

cooperation with private landlords. The good practice is now spread out to

Housing and Migration/Welfare Department

the whole city. Over the last few years the number of training apartments

in a central organisational unit called Central

has increased. This is an important part of the chain and is often the last step

Homeless Aid (ZEW).

before full independence. To succeed in living independently, wherever in

provided

by

the

Department

the chain, people need individually tailored support. Stockholm recognizes The ZEW is responsible for both immediate accommodation and for procuring

the need for further improvement in the coordination of support for people

permanent housing, or arranging for appropriate facilities to be provided by

with mental health problems which is provided by the social welfare service

independent welfare organisations. Every homeless household receives economic

and the county council responsible for health care.

assistance, counselling, general social support and help in finding work.

Stockholm

Munich


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3_Strategies: A roof is not enough

4_Measures: Diversified tools are crucial

Homelessness is a complex phenomenon. To be effective, strategies must recognise that the causes of homelessness are generally

A well-developed system of integrated services working together to intervene early is most likely to succeed in preventing

more than the lack of accommodation. Many different needs have to be considered in any strategy against homelessness. Support

homelessness. Whilst the causes of homelessness are manifold and local conditions will always have to be considered, the-

has to be targeted and tailored to the individual needs and circumstances. As these needs vary within and between cities, the

re are common aspects of homelessness which can best be tackled by a strategic coordinated approach that includes:

local approaches will differ but the common theme is that multidimensional responses are most effective to achieving long term

• Professional support and advice for people who are at risk of becoming homeless

success. Below are some examples of successful city strategies against homelessness.

• Temporary accommodation for homeless persons that is geared towards supporting people to independent living and (re)integration into the mainstream housing market.

• Transitory accommodation with support that helps prepare people for independence.

• Specialised long-term accommodation for people who cannot live independently

• Professional social support to prevent and terminate homelessness is crucial to help people back into independent living

• Identifying the powers and resources available to the city to support change

The following basic model shows the main categories of services and measures available for the work with homeless people.

The social care system in Warsaw is focused on providing accommodation and support which

promotes

human

dignity

and

independence. Support for homeless people is implemented in Warsaw by 18 district Social Care Centres and NGOs which are managing night shelters, hostels, canteens, medical and sanitary aid points. The Social Care Centres provide individual support for homeless people particularly concerning families, housing and employment. A basic condition for support is that the client engages with an integration programme. In The main aim of Vienna’s strategy is the prevention of eviction. A system of day centres, street work, counselling and

the Social Care Centre, the homeless person can also receive housing advice.

care is in place to help homeless people in acute need. Temporary facilities are available to prepare homeless people for independence, aiming at integration in the mainstream housing market within a maximum of two years. A range of

Warsaw particularly focuses on programmes, provided by NGOs, aimed at homeless women

accommodation for homeless people has been created including low-threshold accommodation for people with multiple

and mothers with children. The city facilitates training for support providers to ensure that

problems who cannot live independently. Vienna has also commissioned permanent housing for older former homeless

support is geared towards improving skills in conducting effective actions for the benefit of

people.

the group of people in need.

Warsaw

Vienna


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3_Strategies: A roof is not enough

4_Measures: Diversified tools are crucial

Homelessness is a complex phenomenon. To be effective, strategies must recognise that the causes of homelessness are generally

A well-developed system of integrated services working together to intervene early is most likely to succeed in preventing

more than the lack of accommodation. Many different needs have to be considered in any strategy against homelessness. Support

homelessness. Whilst the causes of homelessness are manifold and local conditions will always have to be considered,

has to be targeted and tailored to the individual needs and circumstances. As these needs vary within and between cities, the

there are common aspects of homelessness which can best be tackled by a strategic coordinated approach that includes:

local approaches will differ but the common theme is that multidimensional responses are most effective to achieving long term

• Professional support and advice for people who are at risk of becoming homeless

success. Below are some examples of successful city strategies against homelessness.

• Temporary accommodation for homeless persons that is geared towards supporting people to independent living and (re)integration into the mainstream housing market

• Transitory accommodation with support that helps prepare people for independence

• Specialised long-term accommodation for people who cannot live independently

• Professional social support to prevent and terminate homelessness is crucial to help people back into independent living

• Identifying the powers and resources available to the city to support change.

The following basic model shows the main categories of services and measures available for the work with homeless people.

Offers for homeless people

Offers for non-homeless people

Temporary programmes to accommodate homeless people

Support to prevent homelessness

Accompanying support programmes

Programmes to safeguard sustainable accommodation

Auxiliary programmes


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5_Coordination: Providing space for exchange

6_Framework conditions

In all cities, a broad range of stakeholders are working to end homelessness, including various city departments,

There is recognition amongst the members of the EUROCITIES WGH that the prevention of homelessness is a primary aim. Allied

NGO service providers, public and private landlords, churches and self-help organisations. The success of a strategy

to this is an understanding that homelessness is not simply resolved by increasing the supply of accommodation. To be successful,

is invariably dependent upon the city’s ability to get all to work together in a respectful, efficient and effective

cities need to address the causes of homelessness and repeat homelessness and monitor the effectiveness of interventions.

way. To this end, most cities hold regular meetings with all relevant organisations. Such meetings can create a constructive atmosphere between sometimes competing organisations, promoting trust and transparency and an

Since the 1980s, many cities started to create new partnerships to prevent and fight homelessness. They adopted a more holistic

understanding of common goals. They can help to solve conflicts and questions around competencies and resources.

approach and placed more emphasis on detecting the causes of homelessness with the aim of developing policies and practices

They can also help to develop partnerships and solutions which individual agencies wouldn’t be able to do alone.

to support social inclusion. These strategies are embedded in political, legislative and financial frameworks that are set not only at

In many cities, boards with an advisory function have been established which have significant and positive

local, but also at regional, national and European level.

influence in developing the local policy agenda. In each country, there is a specific distribution of responsibilities and competencies concerning social issues between the feUtrecht, for example, promotes an integrated approach and shared responsibility between all agencies.

deral/national, regional and local level. It is important to understand the specific roles and interdependencies so that effective

Ambitions, expectations and actions are articulated in policies such as “Towards a Healthier Utrecht”. In this strategy

strategies and partnerships can be developed. The following examples show how cooperation between the different public levels

paper, the city and the Health Care Office present the joint aims and funding of a range of provisions. It describes

is organised in some EU Member States.

the situation of socially vulnerable people in the city, the bottlenecks that must be dealt with in the short-term and governance structure within which the parties work. Another example from Utrecht is the action plan “Care on the Streets”. It is overseen by the Steering Committee on Community Mental Health which consists of representatives of the city administration, various institutes, providers of social and health care, local police and other bodies. In Austria, important parts of the legal framework for housing Until a few years ago, the support for disadvantaged groups in Oslo was characterised by too many

are provided at the federal level, such as the law on rent ceilings

competing agencies and a lack of strategic direction. Today, the responsibility is delegated to the

(related to housing standards), the Board of Arbitration to check

Social Services Department in the local authority, thus giving the clients the opportunity to present

rental fees, and federal rent allowances. Also, the courts are under

themselves at one single place to get the support they need for their housing problems. The local

legal obligation to inform municipal services about probable

authority can then provide the necessary services and support itself or procure them from agencies

evictions. Those competences which do not lie at the national level

that specialise in designing and providing support. For people whose needs are not met by the

are usually shared between the regional and the local level. Because

housing market or who cannot find a house or flat, there are municipal dwellings available. Home

the city of Vienna is also a province of Austria, several responsibilities

ownership is promoted and support is provided to find accommodation in the private market. For

are assigned to the city, including loans and grants for houses,

those people who cannot master or maintain an independent housing situation, individual support

municipal housing and services to prevent evictions.

plans are developed based on her or his specific needs. Vienna has a long tradition of socially oriented housing programmes that dates from the 1920s. Today, the housing In Newcastle, a Homelessness Prevention network of over 50 agencies has been established. The purpose of the network is to

department of the Vienna City Administration “Wiener Wohnen“ administers approx. 220,000 flats and is the biggest

advise agencies, whose core business is not homelessness, how they can contribute to the prevention of homelessness. This is

landlord in Austria. This stock is complemented by around 200,000 subsidised rented flats, mostly built by non-profit housing

done through the provision of information, training conferences and, where there is a strong overlap of roles, the development of

developers, and by subsidised owner-occupied flats.

joint protocols, e.g. the Prevention from Eviction and Repeat Homelessness Protocol.

Austria

the direction for the public mental health system in the longer term. This is supplemented by a description of the


Germany

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15

5_Coordination: Providing space for exchange

6_Framework conditions

In all cities, a broad range of stakeholders is involved in working to end homelessness, including various city

There is recognition amongst the members of the EUROCITIES WGH that the prevention of homelessness is a primary aim. Allied

departments, NGO service providers, public and private landlords, churches and self-help organisations. The suc-

to this is an understanding that homelessness is not simply resolved by increasing the supply of accommodation. To be successful,

cess of a strategy is invariably dependent upon the city’s ability to get all to work together in a respectful,

cities need to address the causes of homelessness and repeat homelessness and monitor the effectiveness of interventions.

efficient and effective way. To this end, most cities hold regular meetings with all relevant organisations. Such meetings can create a constructive atmosphere between sometimes competing organisations, promoting trust

Since the 1980s, many cities started to create new partnerships to prevent and fight homelessness. They adopted a more holistic

and transparency and an understanding of common goals. They can help to solve conflicts and questions around

approach and placed more emphasis on detecting the causes of homelessness with the aim of developing policies and practices

competencies and resources. They can also help to develop partnerships and solutions which individual agencies

to support social inclusion. These strategies are embedded in political, legislative and financial frameworks that are set not only at

wouldn’t be able to do alone. In many cities, boards with an advisory function have been established which have

local, but also at regional, national and European level.

significant and positive influence in developing the local policy agenda. In each country, there is a specific distribution of responsibilities and competencies concerning social issues between the feUtrecht, for example, promotes an integrated approach and shared responsibility between all agencies. Ambi-

deral/national, regional and local level. It is important to understand the specific roles and interdependencies so that effective

tions, expectations and actions are articulated in policies such as “Towards a Healthier Utrecht”. In this strategy

strategies and partnerships can be developed. The following examples show how cooperation between the different public levels

paper, the city and the Health Care Office present the joint aims and funding of a range of provisions. It describes

is organised in some EU Member States.

the situation of socially vulnerable people in the city, the bottlenecks that must be dealt with in the short term and

Latvia

The Federal Republic of Germany has 16 federal states which

The social legislation in Latvia gives responsibility to municipalities for ensuring night asylum for the

hold certain legislative powers, and the responsibility for the

homeless, for providing social services and financial support, and for providing support in solving

development and implementation of socio-political measures

housing issues. The State secures the allocation and payment of benefits to designated groups, and

and concepts to avoid and eliminate homelessness is delegated

finances institutions to care for people with mental problems and the blind. Day-care centres for

to the states. Each state tackles the problem in a different way.

persons with mental illnesses receive national co-funding for the first three years.

Since 1996, the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia has had a state programme with the aim of “avoiding homelessness and

The combination of low income and comparatively high payments

providing housing on a lasting basis”, supporting city projects

for rent and public utilities resulted in high demand for affordable

and financing academic studies. By contrast, the state of

municipality tenement flats. Many persons renting apartments in

Bavaria simply gives recommendations as to how the problem of

formerly state-owned houses are at risk of becoming homeless, as they

homelessness might be dealt with. The cities and administrative

are not in the position to acquire a dwelling on the housing market.

districts in Bavaria determine the strategies and measures to

In the current housing market situation, families with children, retired

combat homelessness themselves.

people, and disabled persons are most vulnerable. The State’s housing policy led to a rise of homelessness in Latvia for various reasons: The

The Civil Code and the Social Code of the Federal Republic provide support for the avoidance of homelessness. Courts

payment rate for living space was brought closer to market prices, but

dealing with rent arrears must inform local authorities when they receive notice of evictions; according to the Social

many citizens have an income which is too low to purchase flats without

Code, debts arising from rent arrears can be converted to loans. The Local Government Code obliges local authorities

help from the state. At the same time, the state has delegated the

to house homeless people. In Bavaria, the standards for the furnishing of emergency housing facilities and for social

responsibility to realise housing policy in their territories to the

counselling and aid are assigned to the local administrative districts.

municipalities, but did not provide the necessary resources.


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15

5_Coordination: Providing space for exchange

6_Framework conditions

In all cities, a broad range of stakeholders is involved in working to end homelessness, including various city

There is recognition amongst the members of the EUROCITIES WGH that the prevention of homelessness is a primary aim. Allied

departments, NGO service providers, public and private landlords, churches and self-help organisations. The suc-

to this is an understanding that homelessness is not simply resolved by increasing the supply of accommodation. To be successful,

cess of a strategy is invariably dependent upon the city’s ability to get all to work together in a respectful,

cities need to address the causes of homelessness and repeat homelessness and monitor the effectiveness of interventions.

efficient and effective way. To this end, most cities hold regular meetings with all relevant organisations. Such meetings can create a constructive atmosphere between sometimes competing organisations, promoting trust

Since the 1980s, many cities started to create new partnerships to prevent and fight homelessness. They adopted a more holistic

and transparency and an understanding of common goals. They can help to solve conflicts and questions around

approach and placed more emphasis on detecting the causes of homelessness with the aim of developing policies and practices

competencies and resources. They can also help to develop partnerships and solutions which individual agencies

to support social inclusion. These strategies are embedded in political, legislative and financial frameworks that are set not only at

wouldn’t be able to do alone. In many cities, boards with an advisory function have been established which have

local, but also at regional, national and European level.

significant and positive influence in developing the local policy agenda. In each country, there is a specific distribution of responsibilities and competencies concerning social issues between the feUtrecht, for example, promotes an integrated approach and shared responsibility between all agencies. Ambi-

deral/national, regional and local level. It is important to understand the specific roles and interdependencies so that effective

tions, expectations and actions are articulated in policies such as “Towards a Healthier Utrecht”. In this strategy

strategies and partnerships can be developed. The following examples show how cooperation between the different public levels

paper, the city and the Health Care Office present the joint aims and funding of a range of provisions. It describes

is organised in some EU Member States.

the situation of socially vulnerable people in the city, the bottlenecks that must be dealt with in the short term and

In the Netherlands, the responsibility regarding homelessness is decentralised to the municipalities.

In Norway, the provision of social services is organised in a

The 43 ‘core municipalities’ receive two budgets from the central government: A combined budget

decentralised way. The state is responsible for policy-making,

for shelter and drug addiction services, and a budget covering expenditures on shelters for battered

education of personnel and legislation. The overall responsibility for

women. An interdepartmental study of the shelter and support services to socially vulnerable people

development and provision of health and social services lies with

(2005) concluded that homeless people were staying in the facilities for too long. More government

the municipalities. This is regulated by the Social Services Act. The

funding has now been allocated. The Dutch cabinet and the four major cities (Amsterdam, Rotterdam,

municipalities are obliged to provide housing for people who

The Hague and Utrecht) have developed a plan (2006 – 2010) to improve the living conditions of

are unable to find housing on the market. This includes specially

people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. This plan is strengthening the existing

adapted housing, supported housing and protection facilities

collective approach and provides an extra impetus and new instruments to tackling homelessness.

for those who need them because of age or disabilities or for other reasons. They also have the duty to provide temporary

Central to the Plan is individualised care based on seamless cooperation, mutual trust and a solution-

accommodation for those who are unable to do so themselves.

orientated work attitude. The aim is to solve the problems in an effective and pragmatic way without losing sight of reality and feasibility. The individualised treatment will be shaped by creating a phased

The national authorities have launched a national strategy to prevent and combat homelessness,

programme for each person. Personal targets are defined for the areas of housing, care, income and

including clearly defined goals. The municipalities are responsible for achieving these goals by

daily occupation. This phased programme is mandatory for each client. The city itself supplies effective

designing methods for implementation. Many of the institutions for individuals with mental

identification and initiation of shelter and care, an adequate level of support, collective healthcare

illnesses have been decentralised and replaced by accommodation in the local communities as

insurance and comprehensive debt-assistance projects; the housing corporations provide adequate

a conscious part of the integration policy. There are, however, huge challenges concerning the

housing; the care agencies are responsible for care in the volumes and specifications which have been

housing situation of people with these problems, and local authorities have to provide individually

agreed with the city. The care assessment takes place uniformly and fits within the AWBZ [National Act

designed accommodation for them. The same approach is applied to help drug abusers who in

on Exceptional Medical Expenses] agreements.

many cases are temporarily homeless and in a weak position in the housing market.

Norway

Netherlands


Poland

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5_Coordination: Providing space for exchange

6_Framework conditions

In all cities, a broad range of stakeholders is involved in working to end homelessness, including various city

There is recognition amongst the members of the EUROCITIES WGH that the prevention of homelessness is a primary aim. Allied

departments, NGO service providers, public and private landlords, churches and self-help organisations. The suc-

to this is an understanding that homelessness is not simply resolved by increasing the supply of accommodation. To be successful,

cess of a strategy is invariably dependent upon the city’s ability to get all to work together in a respectful,

cities need to address the causes of homelessness and repeat homelessness and monitor the effectiveness of interventions.

efficient and effective way. To this end, most cities hold regular meetings with all relevant organisations. Such meetings can create a constructive atmosphere between sometimes competing organisations, promoting trust

Since the 1980s, many cities started to create new partnerships to prevent and fight homelessness. They adopted a more holistic

and transparency and an understanding of common goals. They can help to solve conflicts and questions around

approach and placed more emphasis on detecting the causes of homelessness with the aim of developing policies and practices

competencies and resources. They can also help to develop partnerships and solutions which individual agencies

to support social inclusion. These strategies are embedded in political, legislative and financial frameworks that are set not only at

wouldn’t be able to do alone. In many cities, boards with an advisory function have been established which have

local, but also at regional, national and European level.

significant and positive influence in developing the local policy agenda. In each country, there is a specific distribution of responsibilities and competencies concerning social issues between the feUtrecht, for example, promotes an integrated approach and shared responsibility between all agencies. Ambi-

deral/national, regional and local level. It is important to understand the specific roles and interdependencies so that effective

tions, expectations and actions are articulated in policies such as “Towards a Healthier Utrecht”. In this strategy

strategies and partnerships can be developed. The following examples show how cooperation between the different public levels

paper, the city and the Health Care Office present the joint aims and funding of a range of provisions. It describes

is organised in some EU Member States.

the situation of socially vulnerable people in the city, the bottlenecks that must be dealt with in the short term and

Spain

Warsaw functions as a borough (gmina) on the rights of the county (poviat). The most important

The various public authorities in Spain have a duty to strive for public policies that encourage social cohesion and

tasks of the city to tackle social problems are: family assistance, assistance for the disabled, the homeless,

which ensure a system of public and state-subsidised private services that is suited to the country’s economic and

alcohol, drug and HIV/AIDS virus infection prevention, and actions for the benefit of the Polish community

social indicators. They are also responsible for promoting preventive policies and ensuring the quality of the services

abroad. The social care centres of the city of Warsaw grant financial assistance in form of target benefits and

provided.

other benefits of social care. The shelters, medical care and special advisory services are organised by nongovernmental organisations. The role of the city administration is mainly to give organisational and

The Spanish Government delegates exclusive authority in the field of

financial support for the existing and new services for the homeless in such a way that a comprehensive

social services to the various autonomous regions. Moreover, local

social care system is established.

governments have their own areas of competence in terms of basic social services; for Barcelona this is laid down in the Social Services Act of Catalonia. This act stipulates that town councils shall receive funding from the autonomous government (the Generalitat) in order to fulfil their obligations. Barcelona City Council receives 66% of the costs of such services from the autonomous government. As far as assistance for the homeless is concerned, each town is responsible for implementing the social resources and services it deems necessary in order to address these circumstances.


Sweden

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15

5_Coordination: Providing space for exchange

6_Framework conditions

In all cities, a broad range of stakeholders is involved in working to end homelessness, including various city

There is recognition amongst the members of the EUROCITIES WGH that the prevention of homelessness is a primary aim. Allied

departments, NGO service providers, public and private landlords, churches and self-help organisations. The suc-

to this is an understanding that homelessness is not simply resolved by increasing the supply of accommodation. To be successful,

cess of a strategy is invariably dependent upon the city’s ability to get all to work together in a respectful,

cities need to address the causes of homelessness and repeat homelessness and monitor the effectiveness of interventions.

efficient and effective way. To this end, most cities hold regular meetings with all relevant organisations. Such meetings can create a constructive atmosphere between sometimes competing organisations, promoting trust

Since the 1980s, many cities started to create new partnerships to prevent and fight homelessness. They adopted a more holistic

and transparency and an understanding of common goals. They can help to solve conflicts and questions around

approach and placed more emphasis on detecting the causes of homelessness with the aim of developing policies and practices

competencies and resources. They can also help to develop partnerships and solutions which individual agencies

to support social inclusion. These strategies are embedded in political, legislative and financial frameworks that are set not only at

wouldn’t be able to do alone. In many cities, boards with an advisory function have been established which have

local, but also at regional, national and European level.

significant and positive influence in developing the local policy agenda. In each country, there is a specific distribution of responsibilities and competences concerning social issues between the Utrecht, for example, promotes an integrated approach and shared responsibility between all agencies. Ambi-

federal/national, regional and local level. It is important to understand the specific roles and interdependencies so that effective

tions, expectations and actions are articulated in policies such as “Towards a Healthier Utrecht”. In this strategy

strategies and partnerships can be developed. The following examples show how cooperation between the different public levels

paper, the city and the Health Care Office present the joint aims and funding of a range of provisions. It describes

is organised in some EU Member States.

the situation of socially vulnerable people in the city, the bottlenecks that must be dealt with in the short term and

United Kingdom

In Sweden, the responsibility for supporting homeless persons lies mainly with the

Within the UK, following devolution in 2000, different legislation on

290 municipalities in the country. Each municipality develops its own programmes

homelessness applies to England, Scotland and Wales. Homeless services are

and carries out the practical work. Even the 18 county councils (being responsible

mainly funded by central government grants that are administered by the local

for health care) play a part too, working with homeless with mental and/or physical

authority. When housing benefit was deregulated in 1987, homeless provision

problems, and addiction care/treatment. Most cities give allowance to non-

tripled. In 2002, the system changed from an unlimited funding pot (Housing

governmental organisations working locally with homelessness. There is some

Benefit) to a fixed pot (Supporting People) that was spent in line with strategic

cooperation between the municipalities and the county councils, for instance the

priorities, value for money and quality standards. The introduction of the

outreach work among homeless people. In January 2007 the Swedish government

Homelessness Act 2002 in England required local councils to develop

presented the first National Strategy against homelessness.

homelessness strategies, aimed at identifying and reducing the causes of homelessness. This puts the main emphasis on prevention. The funding system also changed from a ‘laissez faire’ approach based on full occupancy to a commissioning system based on meeting identified strategic needs. These changes, along with statutory targets to reduce homelessness, rough sleeping and B&B use, have led to a new approach. At its best this is characterised by finding solutions to the root causes of homelessness. At its worst it’s criticised for re-labelling homeless people. Nationally, the approach has been highly successful and reduced homelessness by over a 1/3. All council’s have refreshed their strategies in 2008.


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7_Challenges and obstacles The template below provides information about the different responsibilities at national, regional and local level. It is used by the

The social, political and economic context within which homelessness occurs varies substantially

EUROCITIES WGH to analyse and compare the framework conditions of the work in every city and to identify the various relations

across countries and between individual cities. Whilst there is a broad agreement about the need for

between public authorities.

an integrated approach, the different conditions can lead to obstacles in the implementation. In the following section, some of these issues are presented, distinguishing between policy related, target group related and financial obstacles. However, it must be said that these issues do not occur in all

CITIES FRAMEWORK CONDITIONS REGARDING

cities to the same extent.

Social housing and homeless integration Policy related obstacles A lack of central control, coordination of policies and services can cause problems for the

FEDERAL e.g. National laws of fee limitation or Federal rent allowances

implementation of an integrated approach to fighting homelessness. Sometimes, there is no culture of tackling social problems through a strategic approach and no (or only limited) innovative attitude among policymakers and service providers. The disregard of prevention must also be mentioned, as well as the inflexibility of regulations in services, accommodation etc. There may be no integrated, multidisciplinary approach for clients with a so-called dual diagnosis (i.e. both mental and addiction issues). Those at the ‘bottom of the chain’ are often thought not to fit into a chain model. As a result, an integrated chain approach may not be developed at all. Also, there might be a lack of decent accommodation for high need groups and difficult access for homeless

REGIONAL e.g. Loans and grants or Regional housing allowances

people to other aspects of society (e.g. labour market). A precondition for successful social inclusion is that the relevant stakeholders are in a position to cooperate with the social policy institutions and organisations. In order to make this cooperation possible, conditions must be created by public institutions and NGOs that meet the needs of their target groups. Regulations, such as restrictions to have men and women (couples) living together,

REGIONAL AND LOCAL MEASURES e.g. Deposit / guarantee for deposit

restrictions to keep pets and restrictions to drink alcohol in the accommodation, often constitute major obstacles to successful integration, as they deter people from calling on institutional support. Whilst information exchange is important, at the same time, privacy and the protection of clients’ personal integrity have to be safeguarded.

LOCAL e.g. Municipal housing or Prevention of evictions or Motivation, advice and guidance (Purpose: Assist individuals to find a solution to their housing problem)


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8_Outlook Target-group related issues There are various reasons for the loss of accommodation, the most frequent are changes in economic conditions (e.g. job loss, divorce, heavy indebtedness). Psycho-social problems – increasingly among younger people – are a further contributing factor towards homelessness. Due to the limited opportunities of city administrations to influence mainstream social trends, local support measures can only be seen as a supplement to national social policies. Deficits at national or regional level can only be corrected to a very limited extent. Evictions are

In view of the current housing crisis, rising prices for daily goods such as energy and food, and manifestation of severe poverty, the fight against homelessness is an ongoing challenge in all major European cities. It is at the local level where the problems of homelessness and social exclusion are most acute and visible. To further assist cities in developing and improving effective measures, the EUROCITIES Working Group on Homelessness has set itself the following goals:

policies and services for homeless people, and to build a widely accessible database for the

increasing, so there are new homeless people coming to the night shelters every night. Young people, sometimes from non-European countries, with drug problems etc, also come to the night shelters, a place where their problems might even get bigger. Stronger emphasis on the preventive work with young people to reduce

dissemination and promotion of good practices.

social care centres to establish sustained contact with the homeless people. Good results have been achieved with projects in which municipal outreach workers are working in the shelters (mostly operated by NGO’s) alongside shelter staff. So far, the local experts have gained a great deal of good experiences from this. It is crucial that city administrations are able to demonstrate the needs of specific groups and to commission and then monitor services to meet these needs.

2_To refine and review the “integrated chain approach” as a strategic infrastructure for services to operate within and to monitor what difference the adoption of the model makes through analysis

the risk of drug abuse and criminality is needed. Also, gender-specific issues and needs must be better understood and respective accommodation and services developed. Finally, it is often difficult for shelters and

1_To continue monitoring and documenting the development and implementation of new

of comparative performance data.

3_To fill the gap between the local level and the national and European level in the field of social inclusion policies. Cities have a wealth of experience in terms of innovative policies and practices to contribute to the EU Social Inclusion and Social Protection Process. They are the level of government closest to other key actors at the local level, and to those people experiencing homelessness and social exclusion. They have a responsibility to provide public services, and to adapt those services to the needs of homeless people. Cities are an essential partners for national governments for the development of a more coordinated, integrated and strategic approach to combating homelessness and social exclusion.

Financial problems Cities hold a responsibility for the wellbeing of their citizens. Cities keep attracting people from surrounding and also far away regions, and amongst the homeless people there is a considerable number of people from the outside, for which no information regarding their needs, illnesses and demands is available, and who demand support from at times already overstretched service providers. From the perspective of city administrations, the main financial obstacle is that often there is not enough money to provide all the services needed and to develop projects to find new approaches. There is a need to ensure sufficient funding and that the system is as flexible as possible, in order to meet new demands/trends among the target groups, and to design new programmes for those who can’t manage to make use of the existing programmes. It is important to ensure that funding follows evidence of need.

The WGH will continue to work towards identifying strategic interventions to facilitate the prevention of homelessness and the reintegration of homeless people. We will continue to develop the strategic framework and good practice and to measure the effectiveness of strategies by their impact on service users. This can provide positive practical examples for cities and national and European level policy makers. The experiences described in this brochure show that coordination of policies and activities at strategic level increases effectiveness and efficiency. However, legislative and governance related challenges remain. The positive examples from cities with a strong culture of providing integrated services provides evidence which can help partner cities to overcome these obstacles.


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Appendix I_ETHOS European Typology of Homelessness

ROOFLESS

HOUSELESS

OPERATIONAL

LIVING

GENERIC

CATEGORY

SITUATION

DESCRIPTION

1_People living rough

1.1_Public space or external space

living in the streets or public spaces, without a shelter that can be defined as living quarters

2_People in emergency accommodation

2.1_N ight shelter

People with no usual place of residence who make use of overnight shelter, low threshold shelter

3 _People in accommodation for the homeless

3.1 _Homeless hostel

Where the period of stay is intended to be shortterm

3.2 _Temporary accommodation 3.3_Transitional supported accommodation

Source: www.feantsa.org


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Appendix II_Practical examples

Trading Places and the ACE project (Newcastle City Council) Trading Places was developed by the city’s Drugs Intervention Team who commissioned a local NGO to provide volunteering and employment opportunities for people who have experienced chronic drug problems and homelessness. The clients, who have been through a drug rehabilitation programme, initially work as volunteers at a day centre for homeless and excluded people, providing advice and support to other people with similar problems. Over 40 people have been through the programme and 10 of these have gone on to permanent employment, mainly working in the housing and drug prevention sector. Not only do they

City homeless care network (Barcelona)

provide an added value to the night centre by providing an empathetic service but they are also a sign of hope and inspiration for other service users.

The Barcelona city homeless care network is part of the Citizen Agreement for an Inclusive Barcelona. The city has an extensive track record for caring for this group, and the social network and local administrations show

Trading Places gave inspiration for the development of the Adults Facing Chronic Exclusion (ACE) team. The team

great willingness to work together. Accordingly, a quick consensus was reached as to what the network’s purpose

provides outreach services to engage the most chronically excluded homeless people. It is made up of four people all of

should be and what plan it should embark on for the medium- and short-term. The network meets at least twice

whom have been homeless before and experienced chronic exclusion themselves. They have been successful in engaging

a year and working groups can be established in order to address issues or priority areas for action.

with some of the most chronically excluded people in the city, securing accommodation and then on-going support. They played a major role in reducing rough sleeping as evidenced by the official count in 2008 that found a total of two

Working as a group on reflection and action has made it possible to :

rough sleepers.

• Pool efforts in order to increase value for money and complementarity • Create synergies, dynamics for action and involvement among all players • Share and build upon knowledge, exchanging criteria for action

Central Welcome (Rotterdam)

• Lend value to all agents and encourage self-regulation as a group

The purpose of Central Welcome is to provide a central clearing system and registration of all the homeless in the

• Establish priority areas for action, as well as identifying the limits of all members

region of Rotterdam, and therefore promote the through-flow from the shelters to sustainable housing environments. All

• Emphasise the importance of the task, especially with respect to citizens, raise awareness about the homeless

homeless people can go to the Central Welcome office. They can access the Central Welcome directly, as well as with the

and extreme poverty.

help of a social worker from an NGO or a field worker. However:

• People younger than 23 are referred to a special project (to prevent them from becoming “real” homeless people)

Home follow-up (Bergen)

• Women who have fled from domestic violence are referred to special care (with secret units)

The home follow-up service (floating teams) has been developed through the project “The Homeless”. It is located in the

• Due to the Dutch state law (“Koppelingswet”), cities cannot shelter illegal people

social services department and assistance is given to people with alcohol/substance abuse problems and beyond.

• Rotterdam applies a “regional binding” concept: Only people who have a personal relation to the region of Rotterdam are helped with a plan and sustainable housing. Otherwise, people only temporarily have access

The main idea is that an interdisciplinary and individually tailored follow-up will contribute to the

to the shelters and they will be helped to return to the region of their origin.

tenant gaining improved living conditions as well as an independent living situation. The service does not demand a rehabilitation programme but focuses on improved living standards for tenants. Follow-

If matching the target group, they receive a Central Welcome pass. With that pass, they can

up will create availability to other services such as psychiatric services, community nursing, doctors,

use the night shelters. Together with a social worker from the night shelter, an individual

treatment, rehabilitation etc. The project was developed in collaboration between the City Council’s

support plan is put together with targets on different areas of life (housing, work, income, debts,

Department of Health & Care Services, the local government enterprise Bergen Housing & City

mental health, physical health, social network, etc). Every week, there is a two hour meeting of a

Renovation, the City Council’s Department for City Development and the State House Bank. The project

committee with mandated representatives of all the organisations involved. At the meeting, up

was finalised in December 2005 and from that time on was continued by the social service department.

to 20 of these plans are discussed and approved.

The experience with the floating follow-up services has shown that many homeless people with severe alcohol/drug

At the start of the Central Welcome in 2006, a covenant was

abuse problems manage to keep their tenancy contracts over time. A high proportion of these people had histories of

signed by the city of Rotterdam, and all the social care providers were

evictions. Since the project started, there have hardly been any evictions.

informed about how to work within the framework of the Central Welcome system. There is a special agreement on privacy, regarding

In 2008, a new project started for people who do not require close follow-up, but for various reasons

the exchange of information about clients between the care providers

cannot manage to acquire a house on the private market. In addition to this project, the local

themselves as well as between the care providers and the city of

government enterprise Bergen Housing & City Renovation and the Housing Department give support to

Rotterdam. The city of Rotterdam subsidises the NGOs that provide

people who are waiting for housing.

accommodation for homeless people.


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Women’s team at the unit for homeless people (Stockholm)

The NOIZ - nightshelter staffed by (former) homeless people (Utrecht)

The Social Service Administration’s Women’s Team based at the unit for homeless people works with homeless women

The NOIZ offers 24-hour shelter, nightshelter and rehabilitation through work in the NOIZ itself. The institution is part of

with a substance abuse problem or psychiatric illness, often in combination. Women are a minority among the homeless

a greater NGO for homelessness, the “Tussenvoorziening”. The target group are roof- and homeless people older than 18

in Stockholm (26%) . The team is financed by the Social Service Administration. It works with around 130 women/year

years. It offers thirty places for night shelter, twelve places for 24-hour shelter and twelve to eighteen 24-hour places for

and the staff of seven women includes six social workers.

the staff.

1

The team’s short-term goal is to create a good, trusting relationship with the women. With

The nightshelter guests are sleeping in dormitories. There is a special

that relationship as a base, an individual plan can be made together with each woman to get

dormitory for women and one for couples. The guests can use a big cosy

her into appropriate housing. The long-term goal is to provide a wide range of support – i.e.

common room and showers. There is a possibility for hot food and you

substance abuse treatment, psychiatric care, etc. – to make it possible to get into independent

can clean your clothes. A guest room, kitchen and a common living room

living arrangements. Because the team is part of the Social Service Administration, it is also

are also available. For the twenty-four hour guests, who are mostly the

required by law to investigate and suggest compulsory treatment if a woman is in danger of

staff, there is one room for two, one room for three, and 7 single rooms.

dying when continuing substance abuse, or if she has psychiatric illness that puts her life at risk.

Soon this will be changed to single rooms only. Meals are offered 5 days a week in a restaurant run by people with

The team has identified the different needs of homeless women and this has lead to the

mental health problems. Housing support is offered with the aim

development of new services for women. By including issues around motherhood into the work,

of streaming out to a “normal“ housing situation. During the day a

another team, which is working with homeless men, is slowly incorporating the homeless men’s

professional job coach is available. If required, social workers can help

role as fathers in their work, too.

the guests with their problems and find solutions. Internal problems are solved during a weekly guest meeting organised by the staff.

Social care houses – Long-term residential facilities for houseless people (Vienna)

Because the staff are (former) homeless people, they understand the guests and their situation well, so things are arranged in a friendly atmosphere. Guests are not asked for their ID for registration.

The social care houses programme was specifically developed for people, who - often because of long-term homelessness

The staff are proud that there is hardly any nuisance or aggression in the centre but there are however strict rules:

and other social difficulties (e.g. alcoholism) - are not able to live on their own without care. This type of accommodation

• No hard drugs

is an important and integrative component for formerly homeless people in Vienna. The programme aims to safeguard

• No alcohol

the dignity of older people and to provide them with decent and secure accommodation.

• No water pipes (bongs)

• No violence or threats

Two types of long-term accommodation for formerly houseless people have been developed

• No weapons

by private initiatives with financial support from the city administration. The first type partly

• No dealing or receiving drugs

self-administered permanent residential houses are the result of an initiative of affected

• The office, luggage store and kitchen are only accessible to the staff

individuals who were supported by socially concerned people. The houseless people demanded

• No men are allowed in the women’s rooms

a shared, almost independent type of accommodation supported by basic public funding.

• Racism is not tolerated

The second type of permanent residential houses represents the majority of permanent

• Smoking only in the living room

accommodations in this segment and will be further expanded in the coming years. With this

• Breakfast during the week: till 9.30, in the weekend till 10.30

offer, the Wiener Wohnungslosenhilfe enables people to lead an independent life again and also

• The kitchen is open during the week till 23.30 and in the weekend till 0.30

contributes to an efficient use of public funds.

• During the week you have to leave the building by 10.00 and in the weekend by 11.00.

The precondition for both target groups is that the people have sufficient abilities to cope with their daily life. The care service focuses especially on achieving and maintaining independence for the individuals and supports them to remain as long as possible in this type of accommodation. The residents live in furnished studio apartments, which are equipped with their own kitchenette, a toilet and a shower. This ensures that the residents have their own space and the opportunity to have some privacy. The room-concept also provides common rooms and a recreational space, which can be used for sharing meals or having a coffee in a canteen fashion and for other common activities. Floating support is provided if needed.

1

Counted at April 15th 2008

Guests breaking the rules get two warnings and are then excluded for a certain period of time.


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_Web links First report of the EUROCITIES’ Working Group on Homelessness www.eurocities.eu/uploads/load.php?file=Homelessness_final-AGOU.pdf Barcelona www.bcn.cat/serveissocials Bergen www.bergen.kommune.no Munich www.muenchen.de/Rathaus/soz/wohnenmigration/wohnungslosigkeit/102855/index.html Newcastle www.newcastle.gov.uk Oslo www.oslo.kommune.no

This publication is supported by the European Community Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity (2007-2013). This programme 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, and thereby contribute to the achievement of the Lisbon Strategy goals in these fields. The seven-year Programme targets all stakeholders who can help shape the development of appropriate and effective employment and social legislation and policies, across the EU-27, EFTA and EU candidate and pre-candidate countries. To that effect, PROGRESS purports at:

· providing analysis and policy advice on employment, social solidarity and gender equality policy areas;

· monitoring and reporting on the implementation of EU legislation and policies in employment, social solidarity and gender equality policy areas;

· promoting policy transfer, learning and support among Member States on EU objectives and priorities; and

· relaying the views of the stakeholders and society at large.

For more information see:

http://ec.europa.eu/employment_social/progress/index_en.html

Riga www.riga.lv Rotterdam www.dakloosinrotterdam.nl Stockholm www.stockholm.se/-/English/Stockholm-by-theme-/Welfare-/ www.insyn.stockholm.se Utrecht www.utrecht.nl/zorg Vienna www.fsw.at/wohnen/ Warsaw www.e-warsaw.pl

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


1, Square de Mee没s B -1000 Brussels tel +32-2-552.0888 fax +32-2-552.0889 www.eurocities.eu info@eurocities.eu

GraphicDesign: pierreyvesjurdant c/o NAos design 漏 EUROCITIES - November 2008

City Strategies Against Homelesness  

English version

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