There is a misconception around the idea of homelessness and what it truly means: being homeless cannot be as simply defined as those who live in the streets. The image of people in doorways or sleeping outside has become pervasive and ever present in the minds of citizens around the world.
In Spain, "It is estimated that there are around 40,000 homeless people. However, the official figure is 23,000 homeless people." (RAIS Fundación, 2014)
A European framework called ETHOS (European Typology of Homelessness and housing exclusion) was created in 2005 to improve the understanding of homelessness throughout Europe and to provide common criteria to tackle the problem on a larger level than just nationally.
ETHOS defines 13 types of homelessness, and rough sleeping (rooflessness) is only the most visible side to homelessness.
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What makes people become homeless?
Becoming homeless is not always related to mental health and/or drug problems as commonly believed. It is more often caused by issues related to losing one's job or the end of a relationship.
“Neither housing nor work ends homelessness by itself. Active citizen participation does.”
Homeless people need a support network that provides a different approach, so they can focus on participating as active citizens who are able to pay for their food, clothing and housing on their own.
At HomelessEntrepreneur, we believe people in these situations must be empowered and given a voice, so society can develop a better understanding of the issues through the people who truly understand the problem.
In turn, a knowledge-based society will lead to recognition by private companies, NGOs, public administrations, universities and everyday citizens and, ultimately, open up the door for real change. i.e. sustainable work and dignified housing.
“Spain has an astonishing 3.4 million homes which currently sit empty.”
We believe smart cities and a common fund dedicated to reaching these goals will speed up the process of creating job opportunities and filling all of those empty homes.