The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, announced that the Government of Spain is to revitalise the Integrated National Strategy for the Homeless, which has been suspended since 2015.
He made this announcement to the representatives of the RAIS Foundation – Network of Support for Socio-labour – Integration at a meeting attended by: the President of RAIS, Fernando Vidal; the General Manager, José Manuel Caballol; the patroness, Alejandra Silva; and the actor and activist, Richard Gere.
This strategy was drawn up in 2015 with participation from all the stakeholders involved but, owing to the lack of its own budgetary heading, it barely got off the ground.
For that reason, Pedro Sánchez and the new Government of Spain wishes to resume and promote action under this strategy.
The Government of Spain is fully aware of the need to promote measures aimed at eradicating poverty and fostering economic, educational and employment opportunities for the most vulnerable people and households.
The complex nature of the homeless problem requires cooperation and a multi-departmental approach. An inter-ministerial work group will therefore be set up to coordinate action by all the various ministerial departments involved.
Similarly, the technical cooperation group involving the regional governments and local authorities will be reactivated, and a meeting of the work group involving the third sector will be announced. The latter has not met for almost a year.
Work on this Integrated National Strategy for the Homeless forms part of the policies in this regard being developed in Europe. For this reason, Pedro Sánchez and his government are committed to actively backing Spain’s participation in such initiatives as the one being promoted by the European Commission under the Housing First Europe programme.
This initiative is using the ‘housing first’ method to foster social inclusion through pilot schemes in five European cities: Amsterdam, Budapest, Copenhagen, Glasgow and Lisbon. Projects are also being launched in other cities in Denmark, Italy and France.
The Government of Spain will work on improving the statistical data available that allow society and public authorities to have up-to-date information on both the homeless population and care centres and resources available. This update is scheduled to become available in 2019.
In turn, the Ministry of Public Works is working to reorganise the 2018-2021 State Housing Plan to incorporate specific treatment for the homeless above and beyond the treatment as a priority group currently contained in the plan. Under this new specific treatment approach, the action taken by social services will be fundamental.