[Cover image by Sean Griffin, curated by CaféArt London]
Homeless in Europe: Room in the Recovery
At the outbreak of the pandemic in Europe in early 2020, public authorities acted quickly to implement measures that would protect their populations. Among these were measures intended to protect homeless people - a high-risk group in terms of both transmission and health impact of the disease. The conversion of some night shelters into 24/7 shelters, the effort to provide single occupancy rooms, and the use of hotel rooms to accommodate rough sleepers all contributed to preventing coronavirus outbreaks among homeless populations. Meanwhile, eviction moratoria, rent breaks, and furlough schemes were rolled out to prevent new inflow into homelessness.
Beyond simply protecting homeless people from the virus, some measures provided better responses and solutions to homelessness than those that were being implemented before the pandemic. However, by the summer of 2021 which saw a large and growing part of the population vaccinated, many of these measures were ended or threatened with discontinutation. FEANTSA launched our #RoomInTheRecovery campaign in September 2021, with the aim of keeping pressure on national, local and regional public authorities to maintain the measures that worked and to use their recovery plans and budgets as an opportunity to improve homelessness policies.
The articles in this magazine - an extension of our campaign - explore the impact of measures and policy developments during the pandemic and recovery period, showing what works and what doesn't, while making it clear: there is room in the recovery to end homelessness!
Editorial by Ruby Silk, FEANTSA
#StayHome: the scope of emergency housing measures on residential exclusion in Spain during the pandemic by Gloria Martínez Ábalos, Natalia Palomar, Alberto García and Andrea Jarabo, Provivienda
Homelessness in Poland in the times of the pandemic: from innovation to future preparedness by Malgorzata Sienczyk, St. Brother Albert’s Aid Society
The American Way! Reckoning with Homelessness in the Era of COVID by Deborah K. Padgett PhD MPH, New York University
Hotels as accommodation for homeless people in Brussels: A temporary solution or a herald of longer-term changes? by Mauro Striano
Why EU citizens are more likely to experience homelessness in Britain by Francesca Albanese and Laura Payne, Crisis
Learning from the pandemic: business as usual won’t solve the housing and homelessness crisis in Ireland by Emma Byrne and Haley Curran, Focus Ireland
Homelessness in the Netherlands: a housing-led strategy without houses by Guusta van der Zwaart and Jules van Dam, Stichting De Tussenvoorziening
Post-pandemic policy developments in Italy: Housing First but not only by Caterina Cortese, fio.PSD and Alessandro Pezzoni, Caritas Ambrosiana and fio.PSD
Interview with Commissioner for Jobs & Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit with Rocío Urías Martínez, FEANTSA