Lead organisation in Brussels, Infirmiers de Rue, is calling for active testing of homeless people amid the COVID-19 crisis. Sign their Call for Action here, asking for protection of the homeless public, a proactive and systematic screening policy, and keeping people in housing. Find out about the full emergency response from Brussels and other campaign cities in our latest report: Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Joined the campaign: November 2016
Who’s involved? Infirmiers de Rue – an organisation focusing on street outreach – is leading the campaign in Brussels, in partnership with Habitat et Humanisme, Le Forum, Archi Human, Rolling Douche, RBDH-BBRoW and the 4 Wings Foundation.
What has happened so far? Over the past ten years, street homelessness in Brussels has almost doubled. The 400 Toits-Daken campaign (400 Roofs) started with a mission to permanently house 400 homeless people.
Brussels launched their campaign in early 2017 and held their first Connections Week in June 2017. Hundreds of volunteers met 528 people living on the streets and 299 people completed the survey. More than half (60%) of those on the streets had a chronic illness and almost two in every three (65%) had not had stable accommodation for over a year. Full results are available in this Connections Week report (in French) published in December 2017.
Following the Connections Week, they launched ‘Challenge Citoyen 2018’ – this involved volunteers working together to creatively find homes for people on the street.
In September 2018 a second Connections Week was held in the city with over 250 volunteers and field workers. Nearly 300 homeless people were interviewed. The full report is available here.
Last year the 400 Toits-Daken campaign developed its modular housing project, which has now built four homes. Work continues to secure land agreements for the expansion of the programme.
What’s next? Infirmiers de Rue have been running a Housing First programme helping those off the streets for several years – hear from people who have been supported into homes here. They are now working to increase the number of housing options available to move people off the streets quickly.
Images credit: Gideon Mendel