Joined the campaign: November 2016
Who’s involved? Infirmiers de Rue – an organisation focusing on street outreach – is leading the campaign in Brussels, in partnership with Habitat et Humanisme, Le Forum, Archi Human, Rolling Douche, RBDH-BBRoW and the 4 Wings Foundation.
What has happened so far? Over the past ten years, street homelessness in Brussels has almost doubled. The 400 Toits-Daken Campaign (400 Roofs) started with a mission to permanently house 400 homeless people.
Brussels launched their campaign in early 2017 and held their first Connections Week in June 2017. Hundreds of volunteers met 528 people living on the streets and 299 people completed the survey. More than half (60%) of those on the streets had a chronic illness and almost two in every three (65%) had not had stable accommodation for over a year. Full results are available in this Connections Week report (in French) published in December 2017.
Following the Connections Week, they launched ‘Challenge Citoyen 2018’ – this involves volunteers working together to creatively find homes for people on the street. One of the ideas developed was modular housing. After successfully designing, fundraising and building three new homes, three formally homeless people were housed in January 2019. If the pilot is successful, the campaign will continue fundraising to develop more modular housing.
In September 2018 a second Connections Week was held in the city with over 250 volunteers and field workers. Nearly 300 homeless people were interviewed. The full report is available here.
What’s next? Infirmiers de Rue have been running a Housing First programme helping those off the streets for several years – hear from people who have been supported into homes here. They are now working to increase the number of housing options available to move people off the streets quickly.
The campaign will be joining the World’s Biggest Sleep out on the 9 December 2019 and lobbying for policy change.
Images credit: Gideon Mendel