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24-25 October 2014, Bergamo (Italy)

This FEANTSA policy conference provided space to discuss a wide range of challenges and solutions. It was an opportunity for 450 practitioners from across Europe to exchange information on relevant policy and practice to prevent and reduce homelessness.


Conference Outcomes


Bergamo Declaration












Background and EU context

The latest reports of the European Federation of National Organisations Working with Homeless People (FEANTSA) show substantial increases in homelessness in 15 countries over the last 1-5 years, with an increasing number of women, youth, families and migrants experiencing homelessness. Transitional homelessness is affecting a greater part of the EU population as vulnerabilities are increasing. More than ten European countries have developed national homelessness strategies, and other strategies are in the pipeline. The European Commission has stepped up efforts by publishing policy guidance to support Member States in their actions to confront homelessness, and programmes targeting homeless people are now eligible under the new European Structural and Investment Funds. The European Parliament has twice called for an EU homelessness strategy (in 2011 and 2014), and the EU Committee of the Regions reiterated this call end of June 2014.


Conference Objectives

1. To support policy and practice in the field of homelessness, by driving innovation and seeking out the next generation of best practices.
2. To contribute to the implementation of the Europe2020 Strategy, and namely the EU Social Investment Package adopted by the European Commission in February 2013. One of the key priorities of the package is to “confront homelessness”.
3. To provide space to test new ways of pooling expertise and building networks.


Key Conference documents



Workshops & Hotspots


Conference Presentations

European Commission Video Messages



Redistributing the power: Key steps for mainstreaming participation of homeless people Michael Mackey | Maggie Brunjes | Sanna Tiivola

Embedding Housing First at service delivery level: key barriers and opportunities Pascale Estecahandy | Lars Benjaminsen | Video

Channeling EU funds to homeless services: is Europe doing enough to support the fight against homelessness? Jakub Wilczek | Ulrich Wolff

Prevention of youth homelessness: ensuring smooth transitions into adulthood Jantien Van der Meer | Catherine Maher

The dynamics of women’s homelessness: are different responses needed at service level? Elly Loibl | Nicholas Pleace

Sustainable employability pathways for people experiencing homelessness: myth or reality? Paolo Brusa | Jaana Watt

Migration: Tackling the hidden phenomenon of homeless domestic workers Maurizio Ambrosini

New forms of finance for homelessness services: threat or opportunity? Tim Gray

Communicating homelessness without stigma Luc Tanja | Jonas Candalija

Homelessness strategies: Reconciling national frameworks with decentralised responsibilities Thomas Specht | Peter Fredriksson

Accessing housing supply to end homelessness Marco Hoffmann | Maria-José Aldanas

Harnessing the full potential of homeless people with health needs through a recovery-oriented approach Penille Mau | Jason Connor/Avril Pollock






The event was closely followed on Twitter. To see all the (hundreds of) Tweets sent about the conference, search for #feantsa2014.