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Ending Street Homelessness in Vanguard Cities Across the Globe: An International Comparative Study

April 5, 2022

Street homelessness is one of the most extreme, and visible, manifestations of profound injustice on the planet, but often struggles to achieve priority attention at international level. The Institute of Global Homelessness (IGH's) A Place to Call Home initiative, launched in 2017, represented a concerted effort to support cities across the globe to eradicate street homelessness. A first cohort of 13 'Vanguard Cities' committed to a specific target on ending or reducing street homelessness by December 2020. Our independent evaluation of this initiative found that:Two Vanguard Cities – Glasgow and Sydney – fully met their self-defined target reductions for end 2020. In addition, Greater Manchester, while it did not meet its exceptionally ambitious goal of 'ending all rough sleeping', recorded an impressive 52% reduction against baseline.Overall, there was evidence of reductions in targeted aspects of street homelessness in over half of the Vanguard Cities. In most of the remaining cities data limitations, sometimes as a result of COVID, meant that it was not possible to determine trends. In only one Vanguard City – Edmonton – was there an evidenced increase in street homelessness over baseline levels.Key enablers of progress in reducing street homelessness included the presence of a lead coordinating agency, and coordinated entry to homelessness services, alongside investment in specialized and evidence-based interventions, such as assertive street outreach services, individual case management and Housing First.Key barriers to progress included heavy reliance on undignified and sometimes unsafe communal shelters, a preoccupation with meeting immediate physiological needs, and sometimes perceived spiritual needs, rather than structural and system change, and a lack of emphasis on prevention. Aggressive enforcement interventions by police and city authorities, and documentary and identification barriers, were also counter-productive to attempts to reduce street homelessness.A key contextual variable between the Vanguard Cities was political will, with success in driving down street homelessness associated with high-level political commitments. An absolute lack of funds was a major challenge in all of the Global South cities, but also in resource-poor settings in the Global North. Almost all Vanguard Cities cited pressures on the affordable housing stock as a key barrier to progress, but local lettings and other policies could make a real difference.The impact of the COVID-19 crisis differed markedly across the Vanguard Cities, with people at risk of street homelessness most effectively protected in the UK and Australian cities. Responses were less inclusive and ambitious in the North American and Global South cities, with more continued use of 'shared air' shelters, albeit that in some of these contexts the pandemic prompted better coordination of local efforts to address street homelessness.IGH involvement was viewed as instrumental in enhancing the local profile, momentum and level of ambition attached to reducing street homelessness in the Vanguard Cities. IGH's added value to future cohorts of cities could be maximised via a focus on more tailored forms of support specific to the needs of each city, and also to different types of stakeholders, particularly frontline workers.

White Working Class Communities in Lyon: French

June 4, 2015

This report is part of a six-city research series, Europe's White Working Class Communities, which examines the realities of people from majority populations in Aarhus, Amsterdam, Berlin, Lyon, Manchester, and Stockholm.White Working Class Communities in Lyon explores the views and experiences of the majority population in the 8th arrondissement (borough) of Lyon, a diverse and dense area, and socially and economically one of the most challenged areas in the city. Given that in France it is not permitted to define people based on ethnic or racial characteristics, and it is very difficult to talk explicitly about ethnicity, the term "majority population" was used as an open category to recruit focus groups' participants. This study is the largest, and to our knowledge, only empirical study on the majority population that has been conducted in France.Lyon is considered to be a role model in France for working actively on inclusion and cohesion issues. This report analyzes six areas of its local policy—education, employment, housing, health and social protection, policing and security, and civil and political and participation—as well as broader themes of belonging and identity and the role of the media.The findings, permeated by a changing socio-economic environment and anxiety over perceived and real differences, are complex. For instance, residents felt their French identity was under pressure but had strong local identities. Likewise, they had serious hardships in different areas and felt they were ignored by the state and the media but were also generally positive about their future and did not feel particularly disempowered.White Working Class Communities in Lyon is part of a six-city series by the Open Society Foundations' At Home in Europe project providing groundbreaking research on the realities of a section of the population whose lives are often caricatured and whose voices are rarely heard in public debates on integration, social cohesion, and social inclusion. Through a comparative lens, the project seeks to highlight parallels and differences in policies, practices and experiences across the European cities of Aarhus, Amsterdam, Berlin, Lyon, Manchester, and Stockholm.

White Working Class Communities in Lyon

June 4, 2015

This report is part of a six-city research series, Europe's White Working Class Communities, which examines the realities of people from majority populations in Aarhus, Amsterdam, Berlin, Lyon, Manchester, and Stockholm.White Working Class Communities in Lyon explores the views and experiences of the majority population in the 8th arrondissement (borough) of Lyon, a diverse and dense area, and socially and economically one of the most challenged areas in the city. Given that in France it is not permitted to define people based on ethnic or racial characteristics, and it is very difficult to talk explicitly about ethnicity, the term "majority population" was used as an open category to recruit focus groups' participants. This study is the largest, and to our knowledge, only empirical study on the majority population that has been conducted in France.Lyon is considered to be a role model in France for working actively on inclusion and cohesion issues. This report analyzes six areas of its local policy—education, employment, housing, health and social protection, policing and security, and civil and political and participation—as well as broader themes of belonging and identity and the role of the media.The findings, permeated by a changing socio-economic environment and anxiety over perceived and real differences, are complex. For instance, residents felt their French identity was under pressure but had strong local identities. Likewise, they had serious hardships in different areas and felt they were ignored by the state and the media but were also generally positive about their future and did not feel particularly disempowered.White Working Class Communities in Lyon is part of a six-city series by the Open Society Foundations' At Home in Europe project providing groundbreaking research on the realities of a section of the population whose lives are often caricatured and whose voices are rarely heard in public debates on integration, social cohesion, and social inclusion. Through a comparative lens, the project seeks to highlight parallels and differences in policies, practices and experiences across the European cities of Aarhus, Amsterdam, Berlin, Lyon, Manchester, and Stockholm.

White Working Class Communities in Manchester

June 1, 2014

This report is part of a six-city research series, Europe's White Working Class Communities, which examines the realities of people from majority populations in Aarhus, Amsterdam, Berlin, Lyon, Manchester, and Stockholm.White Working Class Communities in Manchester explores the experiences and concerns of segments of the majority population in Higher Blackley, a ward in the north of Manchester. The report focuses on seven areas of local policy—employment, education, health, housing, political participation, policing, and the media—as well as broader themes of belonging and identity. Higher Blackley has significant pockets of deprivation alongside areas of relative affluence, a majority white working class community, and a history of far-right political activity.The report is one of a series providing ground-breaking research on the experiences of a section of the population whose lives are often caricatured and whose voices are rarely heard in public debates on integration, social cohesion, and social inclusion. Through a comparative lens, the project seeks to highlight parallels and differences in policies, practices and experiences across the European cities.

Europe’s White Working Class Communities: A Report on Six EU Cities

June 1, 2014

Europe's White Working Class Communities, a research series published by the Open Society Foundations, documents the experiences of "white" communities in six cities across Europe.Each report focuses on a specific district or neighborhood within a city. It provides new groundbreaking research on the experiences of a section of the population whose lives are often caricatured and whose voices are rarely heard in public debates on integration, social cohesion, and social inclusion. Through a comparative lens, the project seeks to highlight parallels and differences in policies, practices, and experiences across the European cities.While not representative of the situation of all white working class communities in these cities, this report does capture a snapshot of the experiences of marginalized majority populations in select neighborhoods in Aarhus, Amsterdam, Berlin, Lyon, Manchester, and Stockholm.