On 28-29 March, 2022, the Housing First Europe Hub’s first international conference was held in Madrid, Spain – “An End to Homelessness: Unlocking Systemic Change with Housing First”.
The event featured active, informal workshops where participants came together to talk about challenges, experiences and best practices with peer organisations and other actors from various local and national contexts in Europe and beyond.
More specifically, four topical workshops explored the following elements of systemic change:
- Accessing and increasing housing stock
- How to design and implement a strategy for systemic change
- Accessing long-term and sufficient funding for Housing First
- Supporting a transition of the workforce and the shelter sector
A New Systems Change Perspective – Demos Helsinki
This report by Demos Helsinki examines how Housing First holds great potential to enable systems change in homelessness. Grounding the analysis in systems thinking, the work has engaged decision-makers, advocates, experts and practitioners of HF through interviews and workshops in search of meaningful ways to ensure the proven success of Housing First can be central to achieving the overall goal of ending homelessness.
This think piece aims to uncover and illustrate how seeing HF through the lens of governance – rather than policy – can provide us with a compass to navigate the complexity of homelessness, and learn how to advance the ambitious goal of eliminating it regardless of the situation and context a country may face.
Download the report here.
Achieving a new systems perspective to ending homelessness through Housing First: A policy and practice guide
Housing First programmes are one of the most researched social policy interventions of all time, and they are the most effective mechanism for supporting people with complex support needs out of homelessness―the very people who are most likely to sleep rough. But, even as we celebrate our achievement of getting more and more Housing First programmes running all across Europe, we also see the total number of people experiencing homelessness continuing to rise in many countries. To achieve our objective of ending homelessness, we need to take a step back and think more deeply about how our Housing First programmes relate to our overall response to housing and homelessness.
This paper complements the Demos Helsinki framework paper and is designed to share exciting developments and inspire change. Based on interviews with advocates and policy makers across 16 countries, the examples presented in the report bring to life the challenges and opportunities that Housing First can provide and has been delivering so far. Being well aware that we are far from achieving the goal, this report is designed to inspire, encourage continual learning, and drive the change that is needed to end homelessness across Europe.
Download the policy & practice guide here.
Our friends at Housing First Nederland have put together a report summarising some of their key insights and takeaways from the conference.
Read the report here.
Speeches and Presentations
- Looking to the Future – Juha Kaakinen, Senior Advisor – Housing First Europe Hub
- A Systemic Perspective on How to End Homelessness – Juha Leppänen, CEO – Demos Helsinki