Published: October 2021Last change: October 2021
Internationally, nationally and here in The Hague, tomorrow, World Homeless Day, people who do not have a roof over their heads will be remembered. Every week about 21 people report to the homeless counter. A group that is not only growing in size in our city, but is also making use of the shelter for longer. The social shelter is ‘hidden’. Moving on to social rental housing is not possible.
The social shelter is intended as a temporary facility. The core of the problem and the start of a solution is and remains housing,” says alderman Arjen Kapteijns (social shelter). It’s not just about numbers, it’s about people. Behind these figures is a diverse group of people, with different backgrounds and stories that we as residents of The Hague often do not know about. Mainly men, but also many women, young people and families without a roof over their heads. These people often have a job, a study or children. People who have lost their home after bankruptcy, a divorce, flight or an unsafe home situation and have lost grip and grip on their lives.
The pressure on social care has increased enormously during the corona crisis and called for unprecedented measures. Many temporary shelters have been created, where we have been able to accommodate almost everyone for the first time in years. In the past year, among other things, more homes were added for care target groups. And in addition to the small-scale 21 hourly shelter, the municipality has realized extra housing for young people this year. The night shelter for young people from 21-21 year has become 21 hour care. The Action Program for homeless young people has been drawn up in collaboration with young people and partners from the city. With the plan, the city council wants to improve the situation for young people who are homeless or at risk of losing their home. For example, we have now been able to help more than 180 young people with a letter address and the income of homeless young people is between 20-23 replenished more often every year so that they can, for example, rent a place to live.
The coming periodThere is still a lot to do in the coming years. Preventing homelessness needs even more attention. The large shortage of homes for this group of residents of The Hague remains a top priority. Expansion of the social housing stock and more space for housing experiments are still desperately needed to prevent the shelter from clogging up. The Municipality of The Hague cannot do this alone. The council works together with partners in the city and continues to talk with the government and the (regional) municipalities to combat homelessness in The Hague in a sustainable way.
As a municipality, we work very hard together with involved institutions and partners on prevention, reception, care and housing. This can and must be done better and we are working on it. Because you won’t have a roof over your head, according to the alderman. House of Commons party leaders debate: A roof for everyone! Over the past 4 years, the Street Consulate has regularly drawn political attention to the situation of homeless people in our city. There has been a regular exchange of ideas about solutions with people who are homeless in our city. This sometimes led to good results. But we’re not there yet.
Marlies Filbri, director of Street Consulate:
The task was and is enormous, just like the ambition of the current college. Unfortunately, homelessness continues to increase in The Hague and there is a shortage of shelter and affordable housing, resulting in people ending up on the streets. The challenge will therefore remain extremely great for the next 4 years. That is why the Street Consulate is organizing the House of Commons debate on Sunday. Together with the parties involved in the city, client councils, homeless people, organizations that work with homeless people and the political parties of The Hague, the Street Consulate will discuss possible solutions for the challenges we face as a city. : prevention of homelessness, shelter and transition from homelessness and decent and affordable housing.
2021 photo: Street Consulate2021 2021