In 2017, 53,118 people were homeless in Catalonia, of which 2,347 people lived directly on the street. The data came from 719 municipalities (76% of the total 946 municipalities in Catalonia) and was collected in the comprehensive strategy for addressing homelessness in Catalonia, which is pending implementation. These figures take into account only those people who are known to social services.
To make #nobodysleepingonthestreet possible in Catalonia, the involvement of the Generalitat government is necessary to act as an umbrella and accompany, train and provide the necessary resources to the municipalities. We list a series of Catalan proposals; Some look to the short term and seek to immediately alleviate homelessness while, in parallel, other alternatives are promoted to transform the situation in the medium and long term.
Promote the right to housing, beyond social services.
We ask the Generalitat for more investment in public housing throughout the territory and more facilities for homeless people to access it, as well as promoting public-private collaboration to expand the number of homes that follow the Housing First model. The look at access to housing must be transversal: a person cannot leave prison, receive a hospital discharge or leave the circuit of protection for children and youth to go to live on the streets.
Promote the Housing First model and provide it with a budget.
We urge the Generalitat government to promote the Housing First model as an effective tool so that no one has to live on the street. The Government should act as an umbrella, informing, training, organizing and offering tools to the municipalities.
Implement a coordinated strategy and action.
We urge the Government of the Generalitat to promote and implement a strategy and coordinated action between the different administrations and social agents, with concrete measures to address homelessness and prevent it, with an established budget to strengthen the local sphere and look towards making the right to housing effective. The goal is for each municipality to be able to serve its homeless neighbors and for the Generalitat to ensure this with adequate laws and budgets. At present, the Catalan strategy for tackling homelessness has been put on hold and it is necessary to recover and implement it.
Know how many people live on the street in Catalonia.
The Generalitat should promote the organization of counts in the different Catalan municipalities to find out how many people live on the street in Catalonia and improve policies to combat homelessness. In 2015, the Parliament of Catalonia urged the Generalitat to carry out counts every two years to find out how many people sleep on the street in Catalan territory. We propose starting in Catalan municipalities with more than 20,000 inhabitants, as they host more than 70% of the Catalan population and would provide an important sample to measure the problem.
Simplify the procedures to obtain basic documentation.
In order to access rights more quickly, such as going to the doctor with a health card or applying for social assistance, we propose simplifying the procedures so that they are more accessible to homeless people.
Facilitate and promote the exchange of information.
Under the umbrella of the Generalitat, we propose the creation of a digital system that collects all the services that attend to the homeless in Catalonia and a common database of people who use the services to be directed towards the homeless, to act in a more efficient way.
Consider the homeless as a priority risk group.
Homeless people often have a fragile state of health, with immunity problems, poor nutrition, more chronic diseases, respiratory diseases and an incidence of alcoholism or addiction problems, reasons for which we ask that they be considered as a priority risk group before the covid-19.
Take homeless people into account in vaccination plans.
So far, homeless people have not been considered a priority risk group for inclusion in vaccination plans against covid-19. We ask the Government to take them into account. We propose starting with the facilities for the homeless, where many people live together.