10 October was World Homeless Day. FEANTSA organised a workshop on how European funds can support the fight against homelessness. In the evening Corina Cretu, European Commissioner for Regional and Urban Policy, handed out the FEANTSA 2017 Ending Homelessness Awards at the RegioStars Awards.
The workshop, held during the European Week for Regions and Cities, allowed speakers from different European countries to share their experiences with ESIF-funded projects aimed to end homelessness. After FEANTSA director Freek Spinnewijn opened the workshop, Andor Urmos (DG Regio) discussed the role of ESIF funds in fighting extreme poverty and homelessness across Europe. Stepan Ripka (Social Housing Platform - Czech Republic) presented an ESF-project tackling family homelessness in Brno. Then Sina Rasilainen (Ara Housing & Finance Agency - Finland) explained how they use ESF funding for a Housing First project that does not only fight homelessness, but also prevents it. Finally a unique project combining ESF- and FEAD-funding was presented by Stefania Pizzolla (Ministry of Labour & Social Affairs - Italy). After a number of interesting interventions by participants, Raquel Cortes Herrera (DG Employment) and Marie-Anne Paraskevas (DG Employment) ended the workshop with concluding remarks. A summary of the workshop can be found here.
In the evening, FEANSTA had the honour to present the FEANTSA 2017 Ending Homelessness Awards at the RegioStars Awards. FEANTSA director Freek Spinnewijn explained how the European Commission can stand up for homeless people. Commissioner Cre?u responded that she "commits to promoting the right to a home in the EU". After this hopeful response, the winners of the awards were announced.
- Gold prize: Ending Family Homelessness through Housing First in Brno: A Randomised Control (Statutory City of Brno)
- Silver prize: Home that Fits (Helsinki City Youth Department)
- Bronze prize: Housing First Transition (Glasgow Homelessness Network)
The FEANTSA 2017 Ending Homelessness Awards celebrated 60 years of ESF by showcasing these three inspiring projects using ESF-funding to tackle homelessness. Nevertheless, the EU can and should do more to stand up for homeless people. FEANTSA especially hopes to contribute to building a post 2020 framework that really delivers on the commitment to leave no one behind by reaching out to homeless people. Read more about FEANTSA's point of view in this press release.
The Awards and the project in Brno have not been left unnoticed. Click here to read more (in Czech).
The workshop and awards were organised under the framework of FEANTSA's campaign Be Fair, Europe! Stand Up for Homeless People.