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Unclear limits of local responsibility

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Presentation given by Tom Ronning, Municipality of Odense, Denmark at a FEANTSA seminar on "Strategies to end homelessness: Elements of conflict and cooperation at local level", hosted by the …

Presentation given by Tom Ronning, Municipality of Odense, Denmark at a FEANTSA seminar on "Strategies to end homelessness: Elements of conflict and cooperation at local level", hosted by the Committee of the Regions, June 2008


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  • 1. The Social Centre
  • 2. National survey of homelessness in Denmark Main resultsApproximately 5000 people are homeless according toScandinavian definition of homelessness (Used for thissurvey).Homelessness is particularly concentrated inCopenhagen and surrounding municipalities.25% of all homeless people are under 30 years.The same level of homelessness as in Norway, slightlylower in Sweden.Many homeless people are depended on alcohol,cannabis, drugs and medicines, and several of themhave mental and physical health problems in additionto lacking a home
  • 3. Odense MunicipalityOdense municipality has 187.000 inhabitants.According the national homeless survey is 1% of theinhabitants in the municipality is homeless.According to the national survey is only one person homelessdue to housing shortage in Odense.
  • 4. National survey of homelessness in Denmark Results for Odense.Housing situation PersonsLiving on the street 25Living in a hostel 95Living by friend/family 37Living in temporary training house 12In jail 7Other 2Unknown 9Total 187
  • 5. The Social CentreOdense Municipality has among many services forhomeless:Public housing and hostels.Offers for battered women.Drop-in-centre for homeless peopleSocial housing prescription.
  • 6. Homeless hostelsThe municipalities have full authority, supply and financingin the social field, including responsibility for the homelesshostels after social law.Homeless hostels are funded by the municipalities.The state refinance 50% of municipal expenditure onhomeless hostels.Hostels have self enrolment.Self enrolment means that a person is free to turn to anyhomeless hostel without a municipal visitation(nationwide).
  • 7. Homeless hostelsPeople - who hit the long homelessness - have the right tohave an action plan developed.The plan will pave the way for a coordinated response tohomelessness.Homeless hostels are calculated on the temporary stay,without a proper limit for the length of stay.During the stay prepared for the establishment of their ownpermanent housing, work / education, economy, etc..The homeless people are helped to moving in their ownhomes, building networks and work.
  • 8. Homeless hostelsThe municipality, where the homeless hostel is situated, hasthe obligation to act (acting oblication).This means to develop action plan, ensure moving andrelocation in their own homes (this is only possible in theacting municipality).The municipality, where the person lived in before gettinghomeless, is the paying municipality. So the formermunicipality must pay for stays in homeless hostel and othermeasures done by the acting municipality.
  • 9. Not Danish citizensEU citizens have the right to stay as tourists in another EUcountry for 3 months and as a job in 6 months, providedthat they can support themselves and that they are not toburden the host country. This group can only provideassistance in connection with the return according law.Persons who do not reside legally in Denmark, will have theright to the assistance that can not wait to get home again.This applies, for example. emergency care, etc..
  • 10. Target group for hostelsOffers of residence in hostel are temporary housing.For visitation is needed,That the person has legal residence in this country,That the person is covered by the target audience for theoffer.The target audience for Hostels etc. under social law are:"people with special social problems who do not or can notstay in their own homes, and who needs hostel and offeractive support, care and subsequently help."It is Hostels leader, who make the final visitation to thehostel and deciding who are belonging to the targetaudience.
  • 11. Is there enough housing support in Odense ?Hostels have self enrolment nationwide, and all the studiesindicate that there is no shortage of places nationwide.Odense Municipality has enough apartments/homes, butthe homeless people have often so many personalproblems that it is difficult for them, to live in their ownapartment/home.Odense Municipality is constantly working for developingpermanent housing solutions especially for the homeless forexample: Special houses for special people, support forcitizens in their own homes, special staircase communities,outgoing social workers, drop-in-centre in residential areas,special old-folks home, etc.