[Skip to Content]
Delivering a European campaign to end street homelessness

Delivering a European campaign to end street homelessness

Delivering a European campaign to end street homelessness

Monday, June 24, 2019

Patrick Duce, Campaign Impact Manager at World Habitat, shares his learning from the European End Street Homelessness Campaign.

In 2015, World Habitat set about developing a bold new European campaign to end street homelessness – taking learning from across the world to deliver a campaign that would challenge the status quo of how homelessness services were delivered. The World Habitat Awards have been running since 1985 – a unique worldwide competition identifying innovative and ground breaking solutions to some of the most challenging housing problems. In 2013 and 2014 the 100,000 Homes Campaign in the USA, and the Y-Foundation in Finland, won World Habitat Awards for their approaches to tackling homelessness. Their combination of community led interventions and focus on Housing First have shown how homelessness is not inevitable.

We are delighted to be able to share our first Impact Report, demonstrating the amazing work that has taken place through a network of European campaigns all focused on one shared aim – to end street homelessness. Our model is based on those areas - like USA and Finland - that have been successful in significantly reducing or ending homelessness in recent years. For that reason, we know that we need to improve understanding of who is rough sleeping in a local area. This includes taking the time to involve the general public in the process and ensuring that people experiencing homelessness can fully share their stories and say what they need and want. Over the past three years the European Campaign has trained and supported just under 3,000 community volunteers to get out on the streets with local frontline agencies and engage with people experiencing homelessness.

Our report shows how embedding new practices requires both time and leadership but above all else, a willingness from key stakeholders to act together. Without certain factors in place though, delivering meaningful change is not easy. In Bratislava, we see the real challenges that frontline services face in advocating for housing rights, when there is no formal definition of homelessness in Slovakian law. In Alicante and Valencia we saw great enthusiasm in mobilising their communities to deliver initial community outreach events, yet as homelessness services switched their focus to developing national strategies, sustaining local participation was a challenge. In Barcelona, their campaign has had a profound impact on how homelessness is measured and responded to by the city authority - consistent good practice has forged a path for the local policy makers to follow.

There is no escaping the differences in cultural, political, funding and human experiences between many of our cities, but World Habitat sees this as a strength. That’s why we organise peer exchanges, city visits, webinars and fund innovative projects across the campaign. Several years on from taking our first bold steps, we are now in a position to talk with greater confidence about a European model of campaigning using the knowledge gained from cities as diverse as Brussels, Alicante, Barcelona, Glasgow and Leicester. The Impact Report summarises just some of their key areas of homelessness work, demonstrating the ways that each campaign city is addressing street homelessness in their local area. We’ve put all these resources together into a campaign toolkit so those on the frontline can use the tools we have developed. This is available for everyone, whether you’re a campaign city or not, to help you in your own work.

Download the Impact Report here

Sign up to our e-bulletin newsletter here to learn more about homelessness across Europe.

Follow me on Twitter

Photo credit: Arrels Fundacio


News and Views

  • Brain Injury Guidance

    Brain Injury Guidance

    Leigh Andrews of Change Communication offered specialist advice on brain injuries and homelessness through a digital...
  • End Furniture Poverty Survey

    End Furniture Poverty Survey

    End Furniture Poverty have recently spoken with the Frontline Network to discuss their important ongoing survey, seek...
  • Cover the Cost Campaign

    Cover the Cost Campaign

    Jasmine Basran, Senior Policy Officer at Crisis, talks to us about the Cover the Cost Campaign, asking the Government...
  • VRF Impact Report 2018/19

    VRF Impact Report 2018/19

    Over the past year we have given out 3827 grants totaling £1,156,805 through the VRF. Read the latest Impact Report t...
  • Influence from the Frontline

    Influence from the Frontline

    Frontline workers are crucial at giving insight into the viewpoints of the people they work with as well as the chall...
  • The Vagrancy Act

    The Vagrancy Act

    Crisis, along with others including Homeless Link, Cymorth Cymru, Centrepoint, St Mungo’s, Shelter Cymru and the Wall...
  • Influencing local decisions

    Influencing local decisions

    Zoe, Frontline Network Coordinator at Coventry Citizens Advice, talks to us about the Coventry Frontline Network and...
  • The Litigant in Person Network

    The Litigant in Person Network

    Martha de la Roche, Network Development Manager at Litigant in Person Network (LiP Network), tells us about The LiP N...
  • VRF Impact Report

    VRF Impact Report

    Find out what impact VRF had last year and how to get involved in shaping its direction in the coming year.
  • Housing First Scotland

    Housing First Scotland

    Please see here for the first issue of Housing First Connect - a twice-yearly newsletter for Scotland’s new Housing F...
  • Slaying the Dragon

    Slaying the Dragon

    Will Golding, Edinburgh Tutor at Crisis, talks to us about 'Slaying the Dragon'.
  • CPAG - Early Warning System

    CPAG - Early Warning System

    Dan Norris, from CPAG, talks to us about a new Early Warning System to record the impact of benefit changes implement...
  • The Hostile Environment

    The Hostile Environment

    Bethan Lant, a Project lead from Praxis, writes about the creation of a hostile environment for migrants and refugees.
  • Wrexham’s Crisis Cafe

    Wrexham’s Crisis Cafe

    Sinead Kelleher writes about Wrexham's Crisis Cafe, a multi-agency response to Universal Credit.
  • Frontline Worker Survey

    Frontline Worker Survey

    We are asking frontline workers to participate in a survey, aimed at those working with clients who are experiencing...
  • A map through conflict

    A map through conflict

    A Cyrenians Mediator writes about their innovative Amber Mediation and Support Project, a model of mediation and supp...
  •  “A place to call home"

    “A place to call home"

    Hannah Gousy was seconded from Crisis to the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) to help design policy recommendations to...
  • A London Nightshelter

    A London Nightshelter

    On 7 November we opened our church-based shelters for the winter with more churches signed on then ever before. Glass...
  • 'Step Up' at The Connection

    'Step Up' at The Connection

    Wyn Newman introduces the volunteer programme 'Step Up' that has been developed at The Connection for service users.