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December 2016

Dear FEANTSA Flash reader,
Welcome to the last FEANTSA Flash of 2016. We hope you have found it an informative and interesting read this year, and we encourage you to get in touch if you have a story you would like to see included in the next edition.

We wish you a relaxing break and a happy new year.

Read ahead to:
Do you have a story for the Flash? Let us know!


Save the date for the 2017 FEANTSA Policy Conference in Gdansk, Poland
On the 18th and 19th of May 2017, FEANTSA and St. Brother Albert’s Aid will hold the annual FEANTSA Policy Conference at the European Solidarity Centre in Gdansk, Poland, with this year’s title being 'The Fight against Homelessness: Solidarity in Action.' It will be an opportunity to meet with over 200 participants and a range of high-level speakers from across the homeless sector and wider European policy-making field.  Registrations will open in February 2017 and the full programme will be coming soon. More information can be found here
Press Release: Youth Rights at Risk in Europe
More and more young people are being pushed into homelessness in Europe by austerity measures, high rates of unemployment and the high cost of housing. FEANTSA Youth have published a guide to using human rights law to create strategies to end youth homelessness. Entitled 'Youth Rights! Right Now! Ending Youth Homelessness: A Human Rights Guide,' the guide was originally created by organisations Canada Without Poverty in partnership with A Way Home Canada, the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness and FEANTSA, this guide has now been adapted for the European context. It is available in English, Dutch, GermanSpanish, Catalan and Romanian. There will soon be French and Serbian versions available. Click here for more information.

FEANTSA signs joint statement on Roma health
FEANTSA has signed a joint statement with 25 organisations setting out policy proposals to improve the health situation of Roma people in Europe. Roma people in Europe experience poor health at a higher rate than the rest of the general population. This is especially true in infancy, when young Roma children do not have adequate access to health services, which then negatively affects their development and leads to worse health in later years. There are additional reasons for poor health among Roma people, including barriers to accessing adequate housing, employment opportunities and good education. Find the statement in full online here.

Street Support project website now online
The Street Support project, of which FEANTSA is a partner, has launched its website. The project is intended to support adult education providers and other relevant organisations in giving employment and training to homeless alcohol and drug users as well as reducing alcohol and drug-related nuisance in public spaces. The website will contain country reports on public nuisance and homelessness as well as a toolkit on best practices for socially including homeless drug and alcohol users. Find the new website here.

Europe News

EPSCO Council calls for more action to reach vulnerable youth under Youth Guarantee
The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council have published a draft set of conclusions on the implementation of the Youth Guarantee and Youth Employment Initiative. They have highlighted the need for better engagement with disadvantaged youth and that young people with multiple barriers to the labour market, including poverty and social exclusion, who may need additional support to enter employment. See point 17 here.
European Parliament Committee on Employment and Social Affairs adopts Rodrigues' report on European Pillar of Social Rights
MEP Maria João Rodrigues’ report on the European Pillar of Social Rights has been adopted by the European Parliament Committee on Employment and Social Affairs. The report contains a section on homelessness, which “[c]alls on Member States to deliver on the right to adequate housing by ensuring access to quality and affordable housing of adequate size for all, and to prevent and reduce homelessness with a view to its gradual elimination”. FEANTSA hopes that this proposal will result in stronger action being taken on homelessness. Read the full report here.


Half of Sweden’s municipalities do not follow housing law
Stockholm’s City Mission has released a report showing that 52% of Swedish municipalities do not follow housing law and have not updated guidelines since a 2011 law on Public Housing Corporation. The report also notes how the level of homelessness is getting higher and higher as construction of new housing is not keeping pace with population growth in the country. Stockholm City Mission ask the Swedish government to develop and implement a national homeless strategy that includes a target for new homes for socially disadvantaged people in addition to an overall target of new houses as well as a shelter guarantee. Read the full report online here (in Swedish).
Homelessness in Germany has risen from 248,000 in 2010 to 335,000 today
In response to a question by The Left Party, the German Federal Government has released statistics showing a rise in the total homeless population in the country from 248,000 in 2010 to 335,000 today. This figure includes 29,000 homeless children. Homeless numbers are growing in Germany, and the Federal Labour Union predicts that there will be 536,000 homeless people by 2018. See more on the story here (in German).
Seven million Britons in working families live in poverty
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has published a report in which it reveals that seven million British people who are part of working families live in poverty. The report points to the instrumental role that housing costs play in causing deprivation, with a marked increase in the number of people in private rented accommodation living in poverty. It must be noted that the definition of poverty that is used in the report is having below 60% of the median income once housing costs are deducted, meaning that areas like London, which have very high house prices, have the highest rates of poverty under this definition. Read about the report in more detail here.
Shelter places for homeless people in France have risen by 45% since 2010
In an interview with Europe 1, French housing minister Emmanuelle Cosse announced that accommodation places for homeless people have increased in the country by 45% in the past five years. She highlighted that the government is not helping migrants instead of homeless people, but helping both groups at the same time. According to Cosse, the fact that half of the phone calls to the 115 homeless helpline are not followed with action to help is due in part to the rising numbers of homeless people in France and the difficulty in meeting this growing demand. See the full interview here (in French).
Wanteraktioun winter plan enacted in Luxembourg
Luxembourg’s winter action plan to help homeless people, Wanteraktioun, has been enacted, and will be in place until the 31st of March next year. The plan is put in place to prevent people on the street from dying of hypothermia, and includes a day centre at Bonnevoie and a night shelter at Findel, organised by the Red Cross and Caritas, respectively. For more information, please click here (in French).
People fined for begging in Southampton
Twelve fines have been handed out to people for begging in the British city of Southampton. Under Public Spaces Protection Order legislation, the city council has been able to make begging illegal in five areas of the city and hand out £100 fines to those caught begging. Evidently, many people begging do not have £100 to spend on fines, and as of yet none of the fines have been paid, with the local council prosecuting one person for non-payment. Public Space Protection Orders were brought into being in 2014, and give local authorities sweeping powers to ban activities that they deem to be “detrimental” to the public good in set geographical locations. These orders have been used against homeless people, and make it harder for homeless services to reach people on the street. See more on the Southampton story here.   
50,000 homeless people in Italy
Istat, the Italian national statistics office, has released figures showing that there are now approximately 50,000 homeless people in Italy. Their research also finds that 28.7% of the population live in poverty. As rough sleepers often congregate at railway stations, in Italy there is a network of Help Centres at railway stations, with one being added in Brescia this month. The National Observatory on Poverty and Solidarity calculates that in 2015 there were 21,292 people helped by the network. For more information, please click here (in Italian).
120,000 children in Great Britain are homeless
Shelter estimates that there are 120,000 homeless children in Great Britain. These are primarily children in emergency accommodation, as in the UK the local authority is responsible for sheltering under-18s. This is principally done through providing them with a place in a hostel, a bed and breakfast or another kind of short-term lodging contract. Having enough homeless children to make up an entire city shows that there is some way to go yet in ensuring that there is sufficient permanent housing for families in the UK. A shelter or bed and breakfast place may stop a child from spending a night in the cold, but it is not the same as having a stable home to grow up in. See more information on the statistics here.
Member News

Housing First conference held by fio.PSD in Turin
On the 6th of December fio.PSD held a conference in Turin, entitled 'There is Only One Way: The House', to discuss the first results of the Italian Housing First programme, begun in the city on the 1st of March 2014. Since then, more than five hundred acutely homeless people have been housed under the Housing First scheme in Italy. There are fifty-three organisations involved with Housing First in the country today, who come together under the umbrella of the Housing First Network Italy. At the conference, which was attended by 220 participants, the results of the 33 pilot projects were discussed, as well as future challenges related to Housing First in Italy. Find out more about the event here (in Italian).
Working for a fairer Europe campaign launched by Eurodiaconia and Diakonie Deutschland
In order to increase cooperation and the sharing of good practices between members, Eurodiaconia and Diakonie Deutschland have launched the Working for a fairer Europe campaign. Timed to coincide with the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in Germany, the campaign aims to help Eurodiaconia members work around common goals. For more information, click here.
Fondation Roi Baudouin and Housing First Belgium create Housing First video
Three times a year, the Housing First Belgium network meets in order to discuss experiences of their work. The Fondation Roi Baudouin, which supports Housing First projects in Belgium, and Housing First Belgium have created a video to showcase the experiences that Housing First workers have, featuring interviews with Housing First workers from various projects across the country. See the full video here (in French).
Crisis survey shows “street cleansing” of homeless people through architecture
Spikes, railings, hosing down. Homeless people in the UK have been subject to various ways of moving them on when they stop to rest, according to results from a recent survey of people using homeless services by Crisis. Six in ten people interviewed said that in the past year they have experienced a rise in encounters of “defensive architecture”, methods by which builders and planners deter rough sleepers. These include adding spikes to the floor of alcoves to prevent people sleeping in them, segregating benches with armrests that are put there deliberately to stop people from lying down, and hosing down areas where homeless people sleep to make it too cold and uncomfortable for them. Although it is understandable that business owners want to keep their premises pristine, the deliberate anti-homeless measures taken in building and town planning are demoralising and dehumanising for people who are already socially excluded. Read more here.

Comparative Study on Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Homelessness
The sixth book in the European Observatory on Homelessness' Comparative Studies on Homelessness series now online and in print. To order a copy, please contact

Youth Rights, Right Now! European version published in English, Dutch, German, Spanish, Romanian and Catalan
FEANTSA Youth have published a guide to using human rights law in creating strategies to end youth homelessness. Titled Youth Rights, Right Now! the guide was originally created by organisations Canada Without Poverty in partnership with A Way Home Canada, the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness and FEANTSA, but has been adapted for a European context and is available in English, German, Dutch, Spanish, Catalan and Romanian. There will soon be French and Serbian versions available. Find the full guide online here.

Fondation Roi Baudouin publishes research on women’s homelessness
The Fondation Roi Baudouin have published a piece of research on the routes taken by women with children in three homeless reception services in Wallonia and Brussels: (Femmes et Enfants en Errance, le Sans-abrisme au Féminin). Read the full document online here.

Fondation Roi Baudouin and Housing First Belgium create Housing First video
Three times a year, the Housing First Belgium network meets in order to discuss experiences of their work. The Fondation Roi Baudouin, which supports Housing First projects in Belgium, and Housing First Belgium have created a video to showcase the experiences that Housing First workers in Belgium have. See the full video here (in French).
AMA publish Le Post-hébergement
The Fédération des Maisons D’Accueil et des Services d’Aide aux Sans-Abri  (AMA), which operates in Wallonia and Brussels, Belgium, have published Un Accompagnement pour Favoriser la Transition vers un Nouveau Milieu de Vie (an accompaniment  for supporting the transition towards a new way of life). The document is a survey of “post-accommodation” services in Brussels and Wallonia, those that seek to help homeless people find long-term housing. Download the guide here (in French).

Upcoming Events

SMES-Europa to hold European conference
SMES-Europa, together with the Centro Hospitalar Psiquiátrico de Lisboa, addresses a special invitation to Members of FEANTSA to participate in the XIVth European SMES Conference:  “Dignity and Well-being:  together, exchange for changing”, which will take place in Lisbon on 16-17-18 March 2017. For full information on the programme and how to submit an application to be a speaker, visit their website.

FEANTSA 2017 Policy Conference in Gdansk
The FEANTSA Policy Conference 2017 will be held in Gdansk, Poland on the 19th of May. The conference is an opportunity for people working in homelessness from across Europe to meet, discuss their work and find out more about homelessness services and practices from around the continent. Stay up to date with conference news on the FEANTSA website.
This publication has received financial support from the 
European Union Programme for Employment and Social Innovation "EaSi" (2014-2020)
The information contained in this publication does not automatically reflect the official position of the European Commission

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