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Leadership in the fight against homelessness
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Leadership in the fight against homelessness

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Presentation given by Sophie Eichner, Nord-Rhein Westphalia Homelessness Programme Coordinator at a FEANTSA seminar on "Cooperation & networking to address homelessness: What are key partners for …

Presentation given by Sophie Eichner, Nord-Rhein Westphalia Homelessness Programme Coordinator at a FEANTSA seminar on "Cooperation & networking to address homelessness: What are key partners for national/regional authorities and how should they be involved?", co-hosted by the Norwegian Housing Bank and FEANTSA, June 2007

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  • 1. NRW State Program Preventing Homelessness – Securing Permanent Housing Preventing Homelessness – Securing Permanent Housing Experiences with an integrated state program against homelessness in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany Sofie Eichner, program agency at the University Duisburg-Essen Presentation for Expert Seminar: Cooperation & Networking to address homelessness, Oslo, Norway, 18. – 19. June 2007© Programmgeschäftsstelle an der Universität Duisburg-Essen, Lotharstraße 65, 47057 Duisburg
  • 2. NRW State Program Preventing Homelessness – Securing Permanent Housing Agenda for concluding speech NRW State Program Preventing Homelessness – Securing Permanent Housing • Introduction to the program • Output and results • Background and motivation for the program • Reflection on key factors • Conclusion© Programmgeschäftsstelle an der Universität Duisburg-Essen, Lotharstraße 65, 47057 Duisburg
  • 3. NRW State Program Preventing Homelessness – Securing Permanent Housing Short introduction of the NRW State Program Preventing Homelessness – Securing Permanent Housing The NRW State Program is an initiative of the Ministry for Family Affairs of the German Federal state North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW). It was started in 1996. It is a unsolicited approach on tackling homelessness by the states government. It offers time limited financial incentives for innovative local projects to advance the fight against homelessness. From the year 1996 to 2007 127 projects have been funded through the program. The overall budget is over 21 mio €.© Programmgeschäftsstelle an der Universität Duisburg-Essen, Lotharstraße 65, 47057 Duisburg
  • 4. NRW State Program Preventing Homelessness – Securing Permanent Housing Goals of the State Program since 1996 • Advance the services for homeless people. • Develop new approaches, models of organisation and forms of access to homeless people and people threatened by homelessness. • Widen the understanding of homelessness as an individual and structural problem of society.© Programmgeschäftsstelle an der Universität Duisburg-Essen, Lotharstraße 65, 47057 Duisburg
  • 5. NRW State Program Preventing Homelessness – Securing Permanent Housing Approach of the State Program Support innovative projects to prevent homelessness and secure permanent housing: • Strengthen homelessness prevention. • Improve access to housing for people in housing emergencies and homelessness. • Development of outreach services to provide effective support and advise. For each approach in the state program objectives, conditions and funding are defined. The funding is granted for two to three years. It normally covers 70 to 80% of the costs for one person, executing the project.© Programmgeschäftsstelle an der Universität Duisburg-Essen, Lotharstraße 65, 47057 Duisburg
  • 6. NRW State Program Preventing Homelessness – Securing Permanent Housing Program management The Ministry of Family Affairs steers the program, decides upon project funding, research, publications, press and publicity. The State Program Agency at the University of Duisburg-Essen procures the scientific accompaniment and evaluation, supports applicants for funding and projects, organises the transfer of outcomes. Municipalities, service providers, housing companies and other actors on the local level apply for funding and carry out the projects. The scientific world, associations and organizations participate as experts, lobbyists and project partners; but not as advisory board.© Programmgeschäftsstelle an der Universität Duisburg-Essen, Lotharstraße 65, 47057 Duisburg
  • 7. NRW State Program Preventing Homelessness – Securing Permanent Housing Background an motivation for the State Program • North Rhine-Westphalia is a dense populated “Land” (18. Mio inhabitants) with a history of industrial production in the Ruhr Area and prosperous, service oriented Rhine Area. • In the late 90s NRW faced a peek in the number of people who were homeless (temporarily accommodated in municipal shelters under police law) plus resettlers from former Soviet Union. • The “Face” of homelessness changed and became more heterogenic. • Traditional (stationary) services for homeless people faced a loss of acceptance and function.© Programmgeschäftsstelle an der Universität Duisburg-Essen, Lotharstraße 65, 47057 Duisburg
  • 8. NRW State Program Preventing Homelessness – Securing Permanent Housing People accommodated in municipal shelters in NRW 30.06.06: 15.069 persons : 8.826 households© Programmgeschäftsstelle an der Universität Duisburg-Essen, Lotharstraße 65, 47057 Duisburg
  • 9. NRW State Program Preventing Homelessness – Securing Permanent Housing Background an motivation for the State Program • The political leadership in the state parliament of NRW changed to a coalition of social-democrats and green party. • Research on reintegration of homeless people, a report on the social situation in NRW and a position-paper of municipalities were published and discussed in the early 90s. • Know-how of service providers met administrative commitment in the ministry of social affairs. Homelessness was a topic on al levels of the state. The states parliament resolved upon the implementation of an integrated state program to support actors in counteracting homelessness.© Programmgeschäftsstelle an der Universität Duisburg-Essen, Lotharstraße 65, 47057 Duisburg
  • 10. NRW State Program Preventing Homelessness – Securing Permanent Housing Output and spectrum of projects 127 different projects in 43 cities in the regions of NRW. 70% conducted by NGO, 25% by municipalities 23% projects focused on prevention 37% projects focused on reintegration in housing 34% developed out-reach services© Programmgeschäftsstelle an der Universität Duisburg-Essen, Lotharstraße 65, 47057 Duisburg
  • 11. NRW State Program Preventing Homelessness – Securing Permanent Housing Municipal prevention agency work in deprived neighbourhoods Development of prevention agencies and early warning systems© Programmgeschäftsstelle an der Universität Duisburg-Essen, Lotharstraße 65, 47057 Duisburg
  • 12. NRW State Program Preventing Homelessness – Securing Permanent Housing Social „housing agents“ give support and advise Development of housing projects for homeless people Conversion of former shelters into housing© Programmgeschäftsstelle an der Universität Duisburg-Essen, Lotharstraße 65, 47057 Duisburg
  • 13. NRW State Program Preventing Homelessness – Securing Permanent Housing Social services for street magazine-sellers Out-reach projects and medical street care© Programmgeschäftsstelle an der Universität Duisburg-Essen, Lotharstraße 65, 47057 Duisburg
  • 14. NRW State Program Preventing Homelessness – Securing Permanent Housing Production of knowledge and transfer© Programmgeschäftsstelle an der Universität Duisburg-Essen, Lotharstraße 65, 47057 Duisburg
  • 15. NRW State Program Preventing Homelessness – Securing Permanent Housing After 11 years … what is achieved? The program has given important impulses to improve local support structures for the prevention and reduction of homelessness. The flow from regular housing into homelessness is reduced. The program has supported the transfer of knowledge, innovative methods and principles into the mainstream. Support for homeless people and people threatened by homelessness is a political issue. Integrated statistic on homelessness in NRW is being implemented. ---- “Macro” structural problems that cause homelessness are not being changed. The program continues.© Programmgeschäftsstelle an der Universität Duisburg-Essen, Lotharstraße 65, 47057 Duisburg
  • 16. NRW State Program Preventing Homelessness – Securing Permanent Housing Reflection on key factors: • Aiming at the gaps between services, programs and actors. • Clear principles and flexible framework. • Additional resources for moderation, evaluation and research on the level of the projects and the program. • Funding guidelines requiring co-financing by the service provider or municipality. • Program agency as “interface” between administration and practitioners: governance, guidance, transfer. • Personal engagement and responsibility. • Program is cause for cooperation above the local level.© Programmgeschäftsstelle an der Universität Duisburg-Essen, Lotharstraße 65, 47057 Duisburg
  • 17. NRW State Program Preventing Homelessness – Securing Permanent Housing Conclusion for the NRW State Program • Leadership is giving the possibilities and resources to “stick the head out of daily work” and take new paths to homelessness prevention and reintegration. • The base is knowledge about the field and close communication with its actors. • Cooperation with a differentiated base of supporting actors makes the strategies most successful and sustainable. • Good results and their transfer have secured the political support over 10 years.© Programmgeschäftsstelle an der Universität Duisburg-Essen, Lotharstraße 65, 47057 Duisburg
  • 18. NRW State Program Preventing Homelessness – Securing Permanent Housing Aspects of a transferable lesson Leadership requires… • Data on homelessness and research about good practice in services, organisations and approaches is necessary to develop a sustainable and need oriented program. • Clear leading principles to set the frame for innovation. • Realistic goals and evaluation of effects is needed to secure the quality of projects, political support and have time to develop the program.© Programmgeschäftsstelle an der Universität Duisburg-Essen, Lotharstraße 65, 47057 Duisburg
  • 19. NRW State Program Preventing Homelessness – Securing Permanent Housing Thank You very much for Your attention! Contact Sofie Eichner University of Duisburg-Essen Lotharstraße 65 D – 470467 Duisburg + 49 (0) 203 – 379 17 01 Sofie.Eichner@uni-due.de www.wohnungsnotfallhilfe.nrw.de (also in English!)© Programmgeschäftsstelle an der Universität Duisburg-Essen, Lotharstraße 65, 47057 Duisburg

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