In efforts to find a way out of the ‘rough sleepers’ crisis England has been going through, York’s City Council announced that they will build a temporary housing facility for GBP 10.5 million ($12.7 million) to shelter the city’s homeless community. The Council is scheduled to meet on March 16 to make a decision on buying a single property to convert into a shelter, meeting the requirements of the authority’s temporary homeless accommodation. The cost will cover the purchase, design and conversion of the property.
According to Crisis, a UK charity for homeless people, an estimated 4,134 people slept rough per night in all of England, “…a rise of 16% on the previous year and more than double the amount since 2010,” although actual figures may be much higher.
There are around 100 million homeless people in the world, according to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, 500,000 of whom are in the United States. In 2015, Utah found a solution when it declared war on homelessness. Over the past decade, the State has decreased homelessness by 91% by providing permanent housing and support services to those who have been homeless for lengthy periods of time, mentally ill or suffering substance abuse problems.
Elsewhere in the United States, Florida has been following a model known as “Housing First” developed by Sam Tsemberis in 1922. Housing First puts homeless individuals and families into apartments first and later finds solutions for issues of joblessness, addiction and disability. Homelessness dropped in Central Florida 60% since 2013 as a response to this campaign.
Y-Foundation in Finland has also been successfully using the Housing First model, making it the only country in Europe to successfully combat homelessness. Some members of the British House of Parliament have been calling on the government to also adopt the Housing First strategy, warning that England’s homelessness would reach 80,000 families by 2020.