BMSZKI is the largest provider of services for homeless people in Budapest with about 400 employees. It offers a wide range of services to single adults as well as couples and families with children: outreach, day centers, night shelters, temporary hostels, health services, job centers etc on 20 different locations since 1993. On any given night our services accommodate about 3000 homeless individuals – about one third of them women. Based on national and internal research results the organization has decided to rethink the was it is working with homeless women. A working group has been set up to summarize how our 20 services work with homeless women, what special activities and support is available, and what the service gaps are. In the spring of 2018 we carried out our first women’s needs assessment at different services (day centres as well as accommodation services), hoping to get in-depth knowledge about the women turning to us for support. Based on the results, we want to develop a Women’s Strategy.
BMSZKI also coordinates a trasnational project (PIE4Shelters) [https://www.bmszki.hu/en/eu-projects] aiming to train staff in developing psychologically informed environments for thos women service users who experiences gender based violence. We have launched a women’s safe space project [https://www.bmszki.hu/hu/noiprogram], opening a day centre for women only one day a week.
Center for Social Innovation, University of Lodz - is an interdepartmental and interdisciplinary unit of the University of Lodz.
In the field of research interests and practical activities of the members of the unit there are above all widely understood social innovations, implicit as innovative, non-standard solutions to challenges and social problems. The Center also fits in with the idea of social responsibility of the university as well as the promotion of the University of Lodz in the local environment.
The CEIN's operation is based on an interdisciplinary approach and on developed solutions regarding social problems, while cooperating with representatives of various sectors, including non-governmental ones. The joining of science with the social environment, in particular with non-governmental organizations and urban units, is important for initiatives undertaken by the Center. At the same time, these activities are also aimed at popularizing social innovations in the public debate.
Work teams operate within CEIN. One of them is the Łódzkie Parnerstwo Pomocy w Sytuacji Wykluczenia i Bezdomności (ŁPP), an umbrella organization established in 2014, which networks entities that help in the crisis of homelessness, in the situation of poverty and housing issues in Łódź. ŁPP brings together non-governmental and public institutions. It also brings together individual volunteers and also cooperates with municipal units dealing with social assistance.
The mission of the ŁPP is to build knowledge-based sensitivity to the phenomenon of homelessness and social exclusion through actions:
• educational (eg. running workshops for local communities, housing councils, groups of activists, students, publications),
• consultancy (eg. in the scope of developing recommendations for the local government, creating an employee volunteer offer for companies, sponsorship offers for aid organizations),
• shares (related to publicizing and organizing events related to the subject of homelessness and exclusion, eg film reviews, festivals of creativity),
• assistance (including preparation and display of a poster with a list of aid outlets, CZYSTA AKCJA, initiation of the Domni-Bezdomni Box in Łódź).
Within CEIN there is also an Interdisciplinary Gender Seminar, which grew out of interest in the issues of women's studies and the leading topics raised by researchers associated with the Seminar, are those that involve research on women (herstory, poverty, various other types of exclusion, agency, etc.).
Through research and animation activities (in the field of action research), CEIN has numerous contacts and cooperates with non-governmental organizations, including the House of Single Mother in Łódź. This center is interested in cooperation in the subject proposed in the Women in Homelessness project.
FEANTSA is the only European NGO working exclusively on homelessness and has over 130 members across Europe providing services to homeless people. FEANTSA works towards ending homelessness by engaging in constant dialogue with the European institutions, national and regional governments to promote the development and implementation of effective measures to end homelessness; conducting and disseminating research and data collection to promote a better understanding of the nature, extent, causes of, and solutions to homelessness by promoting and facilitating the exchange of information, experience and good practice between FEANTSA's member organisations and relevant stakeholders with a view to improve policies and practices addressing homelessness; raising public awareness about the complexity of homelessness and the multidimensional nature of the problems faced by homeless people. FEANTSA has 13 paid staff.
Women’s homelessness is a significant priority for FEANTSA and its members. There is a growing recognition among our members that services need to be equipped to respond to the diverse situations and needs of women who are experiencing or are at risk of homelessness. For this to happen, it is important that we learn through transnational research and exchange about the needs of women who are homeless, their pathways into homelessness and what are the facilitators and barriers for women to exit homelessness. FEANTSA works closely with its members and has organised a round table discussion on women’s homelessness in 2017 at its annual conference and as a result, set up a specific cluster with the aim to share information, research, good practices and policies related to women’s homelessness. FEANTSA also works with the WHEN (women’s homelessness in Europe) network which leads research on women’s homelessness. It is an issue that features prominently in its EU advocacy work. FEANTSA is part of the alliance of European networks against violence against women. With its extensive network of stakeholders which includes European organisations in the social care sector, in the health sector and in the women’s sector, FEANTSA is committed to knowledge sharing and stimulating action and change. FEANTSA participates in two ongoing projects with a specific focus on violence against women and homelessness: Safe at Home (https://www.feantsa.org/en/project/2017/01/01/safe-at-home?bcParent=418) and PIE4Shelters (https://www.feantsa.org/en/project/2018/02/01/pie4shelters-making-shelt…).
The Association Kings of the Street gathers people with different socio-economic background: homeless people and people who are connected with the phenomenon of poverty and homelessness: experts (social workers, pedagogues, anthropologists, sociologists, psychologists …), students, voluntary workers. We work on theoretical and practical level: we take care for studying, researching in the field of homelessness and for prevention of homelessness, for improvement of living conditions of homeless people, for development of practical and innovative models for coping with poverty.
The organization has developed different programs for homeless people and other socially excluded groups:
- Street paper – alternative newspaper which is mainly written by homeless people and also sold by them on the street. They get to keep half of price the other half goes for printing costs, editorial work etc…
- Day centre – is a place where people can rest, buy the street paper, store their personal stuff, get hair cut, get support with searching for work, place to stay … we also have different meetings in day centre as meeting of editorial board and different workshops.
- University under the stars - alternative model of un-formal education where people can engage in different activities: sports, cultural, educational.
- Resettlement program Housing first: a program with supported housing for homeless people.
- Field work: we try to get close to people on the street in their environment, to empower them, share information with them and try to reduce health, social and economic damage.
- Employment program for homeless people which operates as social cooperative.
In the association we have 30 employees and approx. 40 volunteers and outside supporters. We have around 300 members.
We have carried out different projects in the field of women experiencing homelessness. We are presented as a good practice in the field of employment of homeless women, we also offer special support to women and families in our housing programs and also organize safe places for homeless women to mingle, share their experiences and support each other, so we work on empowerment of homeless women.
projekt UDENFOR, is a Danish NGO that combines social street work with training, research and advocacy. We work directly with homeless and marginalised people in the streets, primarily in the Copenhagen area, through practical street-level work. At the same time, we collect, compile and disseminate knowledge about this topic to improve conditions for homeless and marginalised persons. Our target group consists of individuals who either cannot access or do not wish to receive help from the system.
projekt UDENFOR has recently taken steps to improve the work with the women in our group of users. These steps include a research project on women’s homelessness and the appointment of one of our outreach social workers as women specialist responsible for our female users and for ensuring an integrated gender perspective in our practical work.
The outreach social worker works directly with the homeless people in the streets and has a specific focus on gender and homeless women. The results of the research project will be communicated in a report (among other things) scheduled for July 2018 which will also mark the completion of the project. At this point the outreach social worker will convey the insights gained in the research project to our practical social work in the streets.
The research project on women’s homelessness is informed by a literature survey and a qualitative study among homeless women. The latter part includes observational studies, institution visits, participant observation and interviews with the women as well as with relevant professionals. In this project we seek to gain a better understanding of women’s experiences and situations on the streets (incl. life in shelters, temporary and precarious housing etc) and of the gender-related aspects of homelessness in today’s Danish society. One of the goals is to cast light on women facing homelessness as resourceful and strategic without undermining their vulnerabilities and hardships.
The research project is continuously shaped by insights gained by spending time with and talking with homeless women.
In addition to our practical work and our research we are also working on establishing a network group for the actors in the homeless area of Copenhagen (to begin with) that works with women, as a platform to share knowledge and to benefit from each other’s experiences.
The Simon Communities in Ireland are a network of eight regionally based independent Simon Communities based in Cork, Dublin, Dundalk, Galway, the Midlands, the Mid West, the North West and the South East that share common values and ethos in tackling all forms of homelessness throughout Ireland, supported by a National Office.
The Simon Communities throughout Ireland provide the best possible care, accommodation and support for people experiencing homelessness and those at risk. Together with people who are homeless, Simon tackles the root causes, promotes innovative responses and urges the government to fulfil their commitments
The Simon Communities have been providing services in Ireland for over 45 years. The Simon Communities deliver support and service to over 11,000 people and families throughout Ireland who experience – or are at risk of – homelessness every year.
Services range from -
- Housing provision, tenancy sustainment & settlement services, housing advice & information services helping people to make the move out of homelessness & working with households at risk;
- Specialist health & treatment services addressing some of the issues which may have contributed to homeless occurring or may be a consequence;
- Emergency accommodation & support providing people with a place of welcome, warmth & safety;
- Soup runs & rough sleeper teams who are often the first point of contact for people sleeping rough.
Nationally the eight Simon Communities have in excess of 350 whole time equivalent staff members and 2,500 full and part time volunteers
Simon Communities of Ireland have been working with and delivering services to women experiencing homelessness for over 45 years. We have a very well established residential women only service in one of our Communities and are currently looking at developing others. We are also establishing women only support groups, women only spaces and psychologically informed environments.
In 2015 we published a major research paper 'Women in Homelessness and Service Provision' and have continued to focus on meeting the needs of women in our services. A training session for staff, raising awareness of the experiences and needs of women clients, was developed subsequent to the research.
A national group has been established 'Meeting the Needs of Women in Services' which meets bi-monthly. We discuss practice and share ideas and resources from the different local Communities. We also advocate for women service users.
St Mungo’s is a registered charity and housing association working directly every day with people who are sleeping rough, in hostels and at risk of homelessness. We are here to end homelessness and rebuild lives. Our vision is that everyone has a place to call home and can fulfil their hopes and ambitions.
On any given night we provide a bed and support to more than 2,700 people in our accommodation services. Our hostels and Housing First projects support our clients on their journey away from homelessness. St Mungo’s is also the largest provider of outreach services for people sleeping rough in England – our outreach teams worked with around 5,700 people last year.
Since our founding almost 50 years ago, we have developed a recovery-based approach. At the heart of all of our services is our commitment to empowering individuals, to supporting people in their recovery journey and to preventing homelessness in the future.
Each of our clients comes to us with a unique set of skills and strengths and we use these as the starting point for moving towards a healthier, happier and more stable life.
Everything we do is underpinned by our values.
- We are empowering. We believe in bringing out the best in people; equipping them to make their own decisions and reach their potential. We want to build our clients’ confidence through support and encouragement. And in our own work, we look to constructively challenge ourselves and each other.
- We are inclusive. The smallest minority is the individual. We respect and value people for who they are, and believe that by giving people a voice, and listening to what they have to say, we all benefit. We are open, and value differences. We look to involve our clients, volunteers and staff in all we do, and where we see it, we challenge discrimination. We believe in giving people at all levels a voice in decisions.
- We are committed. Everyone here has their part to play in ending homelessness. We are dedicated to providing safe and effective services that work to achieve our aim. We maintain high standards, and everything we do is to achieve positive results for our clients. We don’t give up on people.
- We are creative. In our thoughts, words and actions we look for ways to innovate and develop our services so that we can help people in the way that’s right for them. We’re constantly listening and learning. We’re open to change and work with others so that we can achieve more and find solutions to the challenges we face.
- We are accountable. We take responsibility for our actions, keeping people informed and always do what we’ve said we’ll do. We communicate openly and honestly. We take on board feedback, and evaluate our results and impact as we strive to improve.
In 2016-17 we employed 1,520 staff, of whom 5% were people who have been homeless themselves, and 900 volunteers contributed time to St Mungo's.
St Mungo’s has had a dedicated women’s homelessness strategy in operation since 2014. This strategy was informed by an 18 month research project called Rebuilding Shattered Lives, which brought together experts from across sectors to share understanding about the experiences of women who are homeless, as well as 60 peer interviews with women living in St Mungo’s accommodation. The findings of the research, also published in 2014, are influential in the homelessness sector as a model of good practice.
There is considerable expertise among other St Mungo's staff on other related topic areas, including domestic abuse, working with children and families, and trauma informed care.
The Y-Foundation is one of the key national developers of the Housing First principle in Finland. The Y-Foundation offers affordable rental housing and encourages public discussion on themes related to homelessness. The Y-Foundation has over 16 650 apartments and operate in over 50 cities and municipalities in Finland and it is the fourth largest landlord in Finland. The Y-Foundation offers rental homes for people experiencing homelessness and those who are under a threat of becoming homeless. Cities, municipalities and their property companies sublet our apartments to their residents in need of an own home.
The mission is to enhance social justice. This is done by developing social housing to the largest Finnish cities lacking affordable housing. The building projects are based on local needs. The Y-Foundation build housing units where support services are easy to arrange. We also develop and build state-subsidised rental homes under M2-Kodit. The Y-Foundation also acquires rental dwellings by purchasing individual apartments from housing companies on the free market.
The work of the Y-Foundation relies heavily on solid expertise on issues relating to homelessness and the Housing First principle. Wide knowledge is based on a strong co-operation with municipalities and NGO’s. The Y-Foundation also conducts research on homelessness.
The Y-Foundation is coordinating a three year project on women’s homelessness. The project has multiple partners and it aims to increase suitable housing for women; securing the housing; increasing skills of professionals in women specific work methods; sharing information and good practices and strengthening the status of people with lived experience on homelessness.
No Fixed Abode is an NGO with the aim of reducing homelessness and improving the services of homeless people. We work together with our service users to find appropriate housing solutions for everyone as well as influencing Finnish housing policies together with other stakeholders. Organisation is not committed to any political parties’ or religious communities’ agenda.
Our essential idea is that every person can live independently if she or he is provided with adequate conditions and support. Housing is a fundamental human right, and its absence cannot be accepted under any circumstances.
The purpose of all activities of the Vailla vakinaista asuntoa ry is to make sure that everyone will find a decent place to live within a reasonable time.
We are a nationwide organization. Our office is located in Helsinki and our services are concentrated on the Helsinki metropolitan area, where the majority of Finland’s homeless reside.
Our work is divided into a low threshold services, housing services and NGO work.
No Fixed Abode was founded thirty years ago by homeless people themselves in the situation where there were 20 000 homeless persons in Finland. Today No Fixed abode has nearly 40 employees working in different areas of action, of which about 25 percent have experience of homelessness. Organisation runs two housing units (Housing first) which have all together 100 apartments.