Get involved Vol 24, No. 02 - February 2020

Working together to end homelessness

“We want everyone to be involved and make change happen!” says Amine Lamrabat, Information Officer in UN DESA’s Division for Inclusive Social Development. Ahead of the UN Commission for Social Development (CSocD) this month, which for the first time in its history will address homelessness, he shares how we can all work together to end homelessness and promote affordable housing. Learn about six key actions we can all support!

  • Raise awareness to support the empowerment and full participation of homeless persons in the societies we live in, paying particular attention to family homelessness, women, children, adolescents, youth, older persons, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, people living in poverty and people displaced by natural disasters and conflicts.
  • Advocate for the rights of homeless people to live a dignified life. You can get involved in great initiatives such as the world’s big sleep out campaign, which was founded by Josh Littlejohn, the co-founder of the charity Social Bite, based in Scotland. Social Bite started as a small sandwich shop in Edinburgh that began offering employment and free food to homeless people.
  • Educate yourself, teach others, and push for policies that help the homeless. There are so many reasons why a person becomes homeless. We need to understand how they got there in the first place to be able to do something about it.
  • Invest in your community, volunteer and contribute to the trusted foundations and charities who are working hard to make change happen.
  • Organize networking events and outreach activities to show solidarity with homeless people such as Making Us Count, a campaign powered by the UN Working Group to End Homelessness, made up of NGOs from across the world. The campaign calls on the United Nations to make the voices of homeless people count.
  • Show respect towards homeless persons and treat them with dignity as you would do with anyone else.
  • Contribute to ending this global social crisis, which is growing in every country.

“By adopting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Member States agreed to make significant progress towards implementing appropriate social protection systems for all and committed to ensuring access to safe and affordable housing for all. Homelessness is a global problem and needs a global solution. We need to find innovative solutions to end and prevent it. All people have the right to lead a decent life with dignity”, says Amine Lamrabat at UN DESA.

It is the first time in the history of the UN Commission for Social Development (CSocD) that the issue of affordable housing and homelessness is addressed. Join the discussions at the CSocD 58th session from 10 to 19 February 2020 at UN Headquarters in New York or live online via UN Web TV.

For more information, please visit the CSocD58 website.

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