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Presentation Title
Speaker’s name
Presentation title
Speaker’s name
The role of social
experimentation in driving
change in the homeless sector :
Observations from Belgium.
Coralie Buxant
General coordinator
Housing First Belgium
3 questions
1. What paradigms?
2. Is it necessary to change it?
3. If so, how?
 Learnings from the HFB experiment
Agenda
1. What paradigms?
To what?
1. What paradigms?
First quick (simplistic) answers
• No: HF is only for a small and specific target
group. A large diversity of needs  a large
diversity of offers (HF is only a new one more).
• Yes: the classical system is not enough
efficient (HF is the best deal). Let’s do HF
everywhere.
2. Is it necessary to change it?
Some learnings from HFB
Yes
Some learnings from HFB
1. HF = fastest access to long-term solution
• HF works in Belgium too. Housing retention after 2 years =
90%.
• Outside HF, homeless people with lower needs are also
capable of living in housing (86%). But: Many of them have
first been to a reception centre and have thus been prepared
to access housing (47%).
• The traditional support system to address homelessness
doesn’t facilitate rapid access to housing. 2 years are needed
for 48% to achieve housing.
Some learnings from HFB
2. HF = recovery
3. Housing (not only HF) = social integration
• Better/faster access to social rights.
• Street control group: 50% are still not in order with their identity
card and 23% don’t have any income.
4. Housing (not only HF) = empowerment, self-
esteem
5. HF support = efficient (17.80 euros/day/person).
Some learnings from HFB
First quick (simplistic) answers
• Yes: HF is more effective, efficient, sustainable,
just. HF invites to social innovation; to fast track
the exit from homelessness. Let’s do HF
everywhere. It is about housing led
policies/practices.
2. Is it necessary to change it?
Evidence based answers
• Yes and The housing support needs to be as long
and intensive as necessary.
• Yes and The housing support teams should have
specific resources with regards to health/addiction.
• Yes and The lack of housing should not make us
accept any kind of rental option. Someone
responsible for housing should be appointed and
ensure mediation if necessary.
2. Is it necessary to change it?
Evidence based answers
Social innovation –
Change management
3. How to change it
• “If you want truly to understand something, try
to change it » (Kurt Lewin)
•« People support what they create » (Kurt
Lewin)
Some learnings from HFB
3. How to change it
• Testing HF in order to adapt the copy-paste to our
Belgian specificites
• From a bottom-up process
• Public/Private stakeholders
• Coordination/steering from stakeholders
• Stakeholders freely developed the HF teams needed
• Pluri-institutional HF teams
Some learnings from HFB
3. How to change it
• 3 independant regional knowkledge centers
• Inclusive/participative evaluation methodology
• Mirror of existing common challenges in the
traditional support system
• Social laboratory  Transferable solutions, HFB is
opening doors
• Inclusive communication (not dichotomic)
With common recommendations
3. How to change it
3. How to change it
With common recommendations
… still a challenge…
+
They didn’t know that it was
impossible, so they did it.
Mark Twain.
www.housingfirstbelgium.be
Facebook & Twitter: housingfirstbe
General coordinator: Coralie Buxant
coordination@housingfirstbelgium.be

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The Role of the Social Experimentation in Driving Change in the Homeless Sector: Observations from Belgium

  • 1. Presentation Title Speaker’s name Presentation title Speaker’s name The role of social experimentation in driving change in the homeless sector : Observations from Belgium. Coralie Buxant General coordinator Housing First Belgium
  • 2. 3 questions 1. What paradigms? 2. Is it necessary to change it? 3. If so, how?  Learnings from the HFB experiment Agenda
  • 4. To what? 1. What paradigms?
  • 5. First quick (simplistic) answers • No: HF is only for a small and specific target group. A large diversity of needs  a large diversity of offers (HF is only a new one more). • Yes: the classical system is not enough efficient (HF is the best deal). Let’s do HF everywhere. 2. Is it necessary to change it?
  • 8. 1. HF = fastest access to long-term solution • HF works in Belgium too. Housing retention after 2 years = 90%. • Outside HF, homeless people with lower needs are also capable of living in housing (86%). But: Many of them have first been to a reception centre and have thus been prepared to access housing (47%). • The traditional support system to address homelessness doesn’t facilitate rapid access to housing. 2 years are needed for 48% to achieve housing. Some learnings from HFB
  • 9. 2. HF = recovery 3. Housing (not only HF) = social integration • Better/faster access to social rights. • Street control group: 50% are still not in order with their identity card and 23% don’t have any income. 4. Housing (not only HF) = empowerment, self- esteem 5. HF support = efficient (17.80 euros/day/person). Some learnings from HFB
  • 10. First quick (simplistic) answers • Yes: HF is more effective, efficient, sustainable, just. HF invites to social innovation; to fast track the exit from homelessness. Let’s do HF everywhere. It is about housing led policies/practices. 2. Is it necessary to change it? Evidence based answers
  • 11. • Yes and The housing support needs to be as long and intensive as necessary. • Yes and The housing support teams should have specific resources with regards to health/addiction. • Yes and The lack of housing should not make us accept any kind of rental option. Someone responsible for housing should be appointed and ensure mediation if necessary. 2. Is it necessary to change it? Evidence based answers
  • 12.
  • 13. Social innovation – Change management 3. How to change it • “If you want truly to understand something, try to change it » (Kurt Lewin) •« People support what they create » (Kurt Lewin)
  • 14. Some learnings from HFB 3. How to change it • Testing HF in order to adapt the copy-paste to our Belgian specificites • From a bottom-up process • Public/Private stakeholders • Coordination/steering from stakeholders • Stakeholders freely developed the HF teams needed • Pluri-institutional HF teams
  • 15. Some learnings from HFB 3. How to change it • 3 independant regional knowkledge centers • Inclusive/participative evaluation methodology • Mirror of existing common challenges in the traditional support system • Social laboratory  Transferable solutions, HFB is opening doors • Inclusive communication (not dichotomic)
  • 16. With common recommendations 3. How to change it
  • 17. 3. How to change it With common recommendations
  • 18. … still a challenge… +
  • 19. They didn’t know that it was impossible, so they did it. Mark Twain.
  • 20. www.housingfirstbelgium.be Facebook & Twitter: housingfirstbe General coordinator: Coralie Buxant coordination@housingfirstbelgium.be