The Connections Week will show the level of need amongst people sleeping on the streets in that given week. It will be important to set this information within a wider context of homelessness trends and to reflect on what this means locally for meeting the needs of people who are homeless. For example, you could consider the differing needs and experiences of sub-groups of people who are homeless – such as young people, women, people with disabilities and more. You could think about how or whether the picture has changed over time.
The European End Street Homelessness Campaign is a housing campaign. One of the five key principles is about ‘Housing First’: this means campaign cities ensure (or work towards ensuring) people who are sleeping on the streets are housed in permanent, safe, appropriate and affordable housing, with the support necessary to sustain it.
As you plan your Connections Week, and the campaigning for change you’ll do after the survey is complete, it is important to consider where the people you survey might be housed, whether now or in the future. Your campaign could help existing providers house the people you meet during the Connections Week, and who are included in your By Name List, by introducing homeless people to key providers and by asking providers for help. Many areas may lack sufficient housing stock but that doesn’t mean that nothing can be done. Analysing current housing supply will help you think about where additional supply could come from.
In this section we provide tools to help you analyse the current situation and plan your solutions. You can adapt these to include the terminology that is relevant in your city or country.
3.1 Community homelessness trends – a table for analysing homelessness data.
3.2 Local housing system map – a table for assessing existing housing supply.
3.3 Example letter – used by the Chicago homelessness campaign to approach housing providers and services following their Connections Week.
There are other readily available sources of information about housing supply and housing issues. Review local and municipal government websites, those of the European Commission, and umbrella organisations such as FEANTSA (http://www.feantsa.org/en/report/2016/09/17/an-overview-of-housing-exclusion-in-europe) and relevant EU networks – e.g. : http://www.housingeurope.eu/resource-468/the-state-of-housing-in-the-eu-2015.
Thank you to Community Solutions for use/adaptation of source materials within this toolkit.