2016-2020 Barcelona Plan for Fighting Homelessness

2016-2020 Barcelona Plan for Fighting Homelessness
2016-2020 Barcelona
Plan for Fighting

Social Rights

2016-2020 Barcelona
Plan for Fighting


                      Area of Social Rights

                      Technical coordination and author

                      Albert Sales

                      Technical and research support

                      Cristina Sobrino

                      Editorial coordination

                      Area of Social Rights Department of Communication

                      The 2016-2020 Barcelona Plan for Fighting Homelessness was

                      approved in December 2016. It has the active support of all the or-

                      ganisations and institutions belonging to the Homeless People Care

                      Network (XAPSLL).

                      January 2017
2016-2020 Barcelona
Plan for Fighting

                      Social Rights

                      2016-2020 Barcelona
                      Plan for Fighting

                      1. INTRODUCTION                                                           8
                      1.1. Regulatory Framework                                                 9
                      1.2. Strategic planning for tackling homelessness                         10
                      1.3. From care for homeless people to fighting homelessness               12
                      1.4. Fighting homelessness from a gender perspective                      17
                      2. METHOD OF PREPARATION                                                  24
                      3. DIAGNOSIS                                                              25
                      3.1. Housing exclusion and homelessness in Barcelona                      25
                      3.2. Care for homeless people in Barcelona                                32
                      4. ACTION PLAN                                                            33
Social Rights
                      AREA 1. Recognising the rights of and protecting people living
2016-2020 Barcelona
Plan for Fighting     on the streets                                                            33

                      Goal 1.1. To ensure the safety of people living on the streets            33
                      Goal 1.2. To ensure homeless people’s basic needs are covered             33
                      Goal 1.3. To realise the political rights of homeless people              35
                      Goal 1.4. To promote homeless people’s access to culture and recreation   35
                      Goal 1.5. To give people without a roof or home access to transport       36
                      AREA 2. Preventing homelessness in de-institutionalisation
                      processes                                                                 36
                      Goal 2.1. To prevent young people formerly in DGAIA foster care from
                      ending up on the streets                                                  36
                      Goal 2.2. To prevent coming out of prison from becoming a factor
                      in homelessness                                                           36
                      Goal 2.3. To prevent the custody that authorities put immigrants
                      under from becoming a factor in homelessness                              37
                      Goal 2.4. To prevent people who are discharged from hospital from
                      ending up on the streets                                                  37
                      AREA 3. Health and access to health-care systems                          37
                      Goal 3.1. To ensure homeless people have access to the health service     37
                      Goal 3.2. To ensure access to suitable mental health care                 38
AREA 4. Reducing the number of people falling into several housing
exclusion situations (preventive policies) and minimising the time
people spend living on the streets (preventing long-term homelessness)   38
Goal 4.1. To eradicate long-term homelessness and reduce the time
homeless people spend living on the streets                              38
Goal 4.2. To reduce the possibility of relapses among people who
leave situations of homelessness                                         40
Goal 4.3. To detect risk-of-homelessness situations at an early stage    41
AREA 5. Accommodation and housing-access model                           41
Goal 5.1. To adapt the service portfolio to people’s needs (to improve
their quality of life and prevent their exclusion)                       41

Goal 5.2. To improve living conditions in homeless people’s facilities        Social Rights
and prevent them overcrowding                                            42   2016-2020 Barcelona
                                                                              Plan for Fighting
AREA 6. Reducing the risk of homelessness linked to administrative            Homelessness

exclusion among immigrants                                               42

Goal 6.1. To coordinate the efforts of social organisations and the
municipal authorities so that no one is excluded from social care
because of their origins or nationality                                  42
Goal 6.2. To create specific itineraries for regularising homeless
people in an irregular administrative situation                          42
AREA 7. Generating knowledge to improve policies and transform
the social perception of homelessness                                    43
Goal 7.1. To incorporate a gender perspective into the planned
alterations at collective residential facilities                         43
Goal 7.2. To ensure there is a gender perspective in drawing up
violence prevention protocols                                            44
AREA 8. Generating knowledge to improve policies and transform
the social perception of homelessness                                    44
Goal 8.1. To combat the social stigma of people without a roof
or a home                                                                44
Goal 8.2. To broaden the XAPSLL’s knowledge of all forms of
homelessness that affect people in the city                              44

                      AREA 9. Co-responsibility and networking                           45
                      Goal 9.1. To enable the XAPSLL organisations to get to know each
                      other and the resources the city offers homeless people            45
                      Goal 9.2. To establish discussion and advocacy mechanisms
                      between the XAPSLL and other public authorities                    46
                      Goal 9.3. To establish coordination and joint-working mechanisms
                      with the Inclusive Housing Network                                 46
                      5. MUNICIPAL COMMITMENTS AND ECONOMIC RESOURCES                    47
                      5.1. Planned investments for 2016-2019                             47
                      5.2. Forecast growth of the Municipal Care Programme for
                      Homeless People                                                    48
Social Rights
                      5.3. Research and knowledge                                        51
2016-2020 Barcelona
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Social Rights

2016-2020 Barcelona
Plan for Fighting

                      The Municipal Action Programme                                       tion of those services towards build-
                      (PAM) for 2016-2019 establishes a                                    ing personal inclusive itineraries and
                      series of goals directly relating to the                             consolidating their collaboration
                      fight against homelessness. Notable                                  with specialist civil society organisa-
                      among them are the PAM’s declared                                    tions, based on the joint creation of
                      aim of tackling housing exclusion                                    the Homeless People Care Network
                      among the most vulnerable groups,                                    (XAPSLL2).
                      ensuring the entire population’s basic
                      living needs are covered and coordi-                                 The network, which comprises thir-
                      nating basic social services for com-                                ty-two of the city’s social action
                      prehensive care, giving priority to per-                             organisations and the City Council
                      sonal autonomy.                                                      itself, was founded principally to
                                                                                           strengthen the city’s capacity for
                      As many as 28 citizen proposals for                                  action and to accompany homeless
                      improving care for homeless people                                   people through the process of re-
                      came out of the participatory pro-                                   covering full personal autonomy and
Social Rights
                      cess for drawing up the PAM and as                                   re-establishing their interpersonal
2016-2020 Barcelona
Plan for Fighting
                      many as 1,069 people took part in the                                and social ties.
Homelessness          various deliberative activities aimed
                      at guiding municipal policies on the                                 The XAPSLL’s work has served to es-
                      fight against homelessness. The pro-                                 tablish the foundations of a common
                      posals are grouped under a specific                                  strategy between the great majority
                      initiative which involves driving an                                 of social players attending to home-
                      action plan against homelessness                                     less people in the city. The present
                      that reviews the actions being car-                                  Plan aims to formulate a city strate-
                      ried out by the local authority and the                              gy where all the players feel they are
                      city’s social organisations1.                                        participants and central figures.

                      Public interest in the situation of                                  So those people directly affected by
                      people worst affected by housing ex-                                 the harshest forms of homelessness
                      clusion has a long history behind it in                              were involved in the process of draft-
                      Barcelona. And with the approval of                                  ing, discussing and debating it and
                      the 2005-2010 Municipal Plan for So-                                 contributing their knowledge and
                      cial Inclusion, the signing of the Citi-                             experience. In April 2016 a working
                      zen Agreement for an Inclusive Bar-                                  group was set up by the Municipal
                      celona and the subsequent approval                                   Social Welfare Council, made up of
                      of the Municipal Care Programme                                      people who have been or are users of
                      for Homeless People, Barcelona City                                  Barcelona’s care facilities for home-
                      Council took on the challenge and                                    less people. This group has held five
                      committed itself to expanding re-                                    working sessions on the Plan.
                      sources and services for homeless
                      people, strengthening the orienta-

                      1 decidim.barcelona/pam

                      2 The XAPSLL's member organisations (November 2016) are as follows: ABD; ACCEM; Amics del Moviment Quart Món
                        Catalunya; Arrels Fundació; Asociación de Alternativas, Motivación y Acompañamiento ADAMA; Associació Dit i Fet; Associació
                        per la Recerca i l’Acció Social Vincle; Associació per la reeducació i la reinserció social Lligam; Associació Prohabitatge;
                        Associació Rauxa; Associació Social Yava Luisa; Caliu - Espai d’acolliment; Càritas Diocesana de Barcelona; Centre d’Acollida
                        Assís; Centre Obert l’Heura; Companyia de les Filles de la Caritat de Sant Vicenç de Paül; Comunitat de Sant Egidi; Congregació
                        Serves de la Passió - Llar Santa Isabel i Residència Maria Teresa; Cooperativa Suara; Creu Roja a Barcelona; Filles Caritat
                        Fundació Social; Fundació Engrunes; Fundació Iniciatives Solidàries; Fundació IReS; Fundació Mambré; Fundació Maria
                        Raventós; Fundació Quatre Vents; Fundació Salut i Comunitat; Grup ATRA; Parròquia Sant Miquel del Port - Projecte Sostre;
                        Progess; Sant Joan de Déu - Serveis socials; Barcelona City Council.
Regulatory Framework

The right to housing and tools for        crowded housing properties. It also
ensuring it, or for attending to indi-    establishes that the collectives re-
viduals and families who are exclud-      quiring special attention are home-
ed, features in regulatory texts at all   less people, women affected by and
government levels.                        threatened with male violence, peo-
                                          ple with drug addictions, people with
The Statute of Autonomy of Cata-          mental health problems, people re-
lonia establishes under Article 26        ceiving very low benefits, young peo-
that public authorities have to put       ple formerly in foster care and oth-
into practice a system of measures        ers in similar situations who need
through legislation that ensures          special care, protection or specialist
access to decent housing. It is Act       support.
18/2007, of 28 December, which reg-
ulates everyone's access to decent        Where individuals or families are
and suitable housing during the           homeless, Act 12/2007, of 11 Octo-
various stages of their life. This Act    ber, on social services, states that
                                                                                    Social Rights
provides for the creation of flats ear-   the guarantee for meeting people’s
marked for social policies and meas-      basic needs for subsistence and           2016-2020 Barcelona
                                                                                    Plan for Fighting
ures to promote access to them by         quality of life lies in a series of ac-   Homelessness

vulnerable groups.                        tions we call social services.

It defines as “homeless” a person or      Public transfers for dealing with con-
household with a manifest lack of         tingencies that can occur through-
decent, suitable housing, because         out life are regulated by Act 13/2006,
they have no home, live on the streets    of 27 July, on cash benefits. The text
or in a place unsuitable for housing      stipulates that, where people en-
according to the Act’s provisions, and    counter problems that prevent them
they suffer effective social exclusion    from meeting essential expenses
caused by social barriers or person-      for sustaining themselves or the in-
al difficulties in living independent-    dividuals making up their family or
ly. Also falling under the definition     household, the purpose of emergen-
of “homeless” are people who have         cy social benefits shall be to meet
been subject to an eviction process       basic needs such as food, clothing
resulting from a duly established im-     and accommodation.
possibility of meeting their rent.

Decree 75/2014, of 27 May, on the
Right to Housing Plan, defines social
integration housing and stipulates
that it is to be allocated to people
with integration problems and to
tenants of substandard and over-
                      Strategic planning for
                      tackling homelessness

                      The evident increase in the number                               Furthermore, with the signing of the
                      of people compelled to sleep on the                              Pact of Amsterdam in 2016, the EU
                      streets in European cities over the                              has launched a process for drawing
                      last three decades bears testimo-                                up a European Urban Agenda. The
                      ny to the scope and growth of social                             first four issues to be tackled include
                      vulnerability and the harsh conse-                               urban poverty and housing.4
                      quences of the incapacity to realise a
                      right to housing set out in a large part                         Confirmation of the housing emer-
                      of the constitutional texts of Europe-                           gency currently seen in many big
                      an states. The social emergency that                             European cities has aroused the in-
                      people who spend their nights on the                             terest of European institutions in
                      streets find themselves in, and the                              policies to contain and prevent the
                      visibility that gives them, has put the                          loss of housing and reduce home-
                      need to implement specific strate-                               lessness. The European Parliament
                      gies to combat the toughest forms                                approved a resolution5 on 16 January
                      of housing exclusion on the political                            2014 calling on the Commission to
Social Rights
                      agenda.                                                          draw up an EU homelessness strate-
2016-2020 Barcelona
Plan for Fighting
                                                                                       gy (reiterating what had already been
Homelessness          European      institutional  policies                            stated in the European Parliament
                      for tackling homelessness are en-                                resolution of 14 September 2011).
                      shrined in the 2020 Strategy for                                 The resolution also encourages
                      fighting poverty and are accounta-                               member states to design their own
                      ble to the European Commission Di-                               strategies and reminds them of their
                      rectorate-General for Employment                                 responsibility to implement policies
                      and Social Affairs. The Europe 2020                              that fight homelessness and provide
                      Strategy commits the EU to reduc-                                care for homeless people.
                      ing the number of people below the
                      poverty line in member states by 20                              Domestic and state-level strategies
                      million. The European Commission’s                               began to emerge in the 1990s. The
                      Social Investment Package3 calls on                              high number of people sleeping on
                      member states to combat housing                                  city centre streets in the UK has led
                      exclusion through strategies based                               the different levels of government to
                      on prevention, by revising the regu-                             implement plans and programmes
                      latory frameworks behind evictions                               for purposes of coordinating and
                      and removals, and by applying hous-                              bringing coherence to the various
                      ing-led strategies to homeless peo-                              initiatives that have been imple-
                      ple. Europe thereby assumes that the                             mented since the 1980s to tackle
                      cornerstone for coordinating care for                            the situation of homeless people.
                      homeless people rests on providing                               Taking their inspiration from North
                      housing.                                                         American intervention programmes,

                      3 easpd.eu
                      4 urbanaqendaforthe.eu
                      5 European Parliament resolution of 16 January 2014 on an EU homelessness strategy
                        (2013/2994 [RSP]).
supra-municipal plans in the UK are                                       social support and monitoring have
driving agendas and shared goals                                          gradually expanded the portfolio of
between the various social players                                        social accommodation resources in
and promoting public-private part-                                        Europe’s big cities since the 1980s.
nerships in providing specialist so-
cial services.                                                            In the case of Spain, the 2015-2020
                                                                          Comprehensive Domestic Strate-
By contrast, Sweden’s strategy is                                         gy for Homeless People (ENI-PSH),
to set structural goals, such as re-                                      which was approved under a resolu-
ducing the number of evictions and                                        tion adopted by the Council of Minis-
launching preventive initiatives                                          ters on 6 November 2015, is the first
aimed at protecting families at risk                                      and only official framework model
of poverty from losing their home. It                                     that local and regional authorities
also sets out precisely the initiatives                                   may invoke in designing care poli-
that have to be implemented by local                                      cies for homeless people. By means
authorities to cover people's basic                                       of the ENI-PSH the central govern-
                                                                                                                                             Social Rights
needs, including emergency accom-                                         ment proposes a basic institutional
modation.                                                                 architecture for responding to the                                 2016-2020 Barcelona
                                                                                                                                             Plan for Fighting
                                                                          situations faced by homeless people                                Homelessness

Finland, a model country thanks to                                        which rests on local authorities and
its success in reducing the number                                        the Public Social Services System.
of homeless people over the last two                                      The strategy is centred on care for
decades, has focused its strategy on                                      people without a roof or home.6
creating an extensive stock of social
housing through cooperation be-
tween the various levels of authority
and the involvement of private and
third-sector players.

In most European countries, howev-
er, care policies for homeless people
have been implemented by local gov-
ernments with hardly any supra-mu-
nicipal coordination. They have
gradually created ad hoc housing
solutions and services to deal with
the lack of access to housing that in-
dividuals and collectives in structur-
al exclusion situations face. Hostels,
residences and shared flats with

6 ETHOS Categories 1 to 7: 1. People living out in the open; 2. People spending the night in hostels for homeless people;
  3. People living in facilities for homeless people; 4. People living in women’s shelters; 5. People living in residential facilities for
  immigrants; 6. People in the process of leaving institutions; 7. People receiving long-term support (for having been homeless).
                      From care for homeless
                      people to fighting

                      Homeless people have traditional-            exclusively to a person and their fam-
                      ly been regarded as a collective with        ily; from the social perspective, having
                      distinctive features (mental illness,        a private space for enjoying social re-
                      alcoholism, drug addiction, unadapt-         lations; and from a legal perspective,
                      ed lifestyle) and classed under a cat-       having a title of ownership or a lease.
                      egory that was very close to social de-
                      viation. Referring to the situation as       Depending on the habitability condi-
                      (homelessness) instead of speaking           tions the space a person is living in
                      about homeless people strengthens            has, the social and private life it al-
                      the view that action by the author-          lows and the legal system for using
                      ities and institutions is not aimed at       the accommodation, four situations
                      groups or collectives but focused on         or categories are defined:
                      combating a situation that violates
12                    people’s right to housing and assumes        • Without a roof: where the person
                      that what homeless people have in             has no physical place to live in.
Social Rights         common is living in a situation of se-
2016-2020 Barcelona
                      vere housing exclusion.                      • Without a home: where a person has
Plan for Fighting
Homelessness                                                        a physical place, although it does
                      Homelessness is identified as one             not meet the necessary conditions
                      of the most extreme forms in which            of privacy to be considered a proper
                      poverty manifests itself in our cities,       space and which the occupant has
                      and homeless people, who spend 24             not legal title to. A person without a
                      hours a day in public spaces, are the         roof or home is defined as someone
                      most visible, though not the only part        who spends the night in public fa-
                      of homelessness. Housing exclusion            cilities or social institutions.
                      appears on several levels of severity
                      depending on the relationship people         • Insecure housing: where a person
                      have with the space at their disposal         has a physical place they can live
                      for their personal lives. Whoever lives       their private life in but they have no
                      in a residential centre run by institu-       legal permission to use the accom-
                      tions or municipal authorities, in a          modation.
                      shelter or in a space unfit for living in,   • Unsuitable housing: where a person
                      has a roof but not a home.                    lives in a space that does not meet
                                                                    suitable conditions for habitabil-
                      For the purposes of analysing hous-           ity. They therefore have a physical
                      ing exclusion, FEANTSA (the European          place for living their private life in,
                      Federation of National Organisations          with legal permission for or title to
                      Working with Homeless People) pro-            using it, but with the discomforts
                      poses a classification of housing dep-        that arise from its deterioration.
                      rivation situations that allows various
                      levels of exclusion to be identified and     These four categories have been
                      breaks with the classic distinction          made operational by identifying thir-
                      between the majority in society with         teen specific situations that cover all
                      a roof over their heads and people           forms of depriving people of a right
                      who spend the night on the streets or        to decent housing. It is worth pre-
                      in hostels for homeless people. This         senting the conceptualisation of the
                      classification, called ETHOS (Euro-          various typologies established within
                      pean Typology of Homelessness and            the FEANTSA framework, given that
                      Housing Exclusion) suggests there are        it is the classification which is being
                      three ways of viewing housing access:        adopted around Europe by institu-
                      from the physical perspective, having        tions and public authorities for tack-
                      a suitable space available belonging         ling the problem of housing exclusion.
Table 1. ETHOS classification

  Situation       Conceptual category   Operative category.                 Type of accommodation

  Homeless        Without a roof         1. People living out in the open    1.1. Public or open space.

                                         2. People spending the night in     2.1. Night shelter.
                                            hostels for homeless people.

                  Without a home         3. People living in                3.1. Shelters and hostels for
                                            facilities for                       homeless people.
                                            homeless people.                3.2. Limited-stay centres.
                                                                            3.3. Accommodation with support for
                                                                                 times of transition.

                                         4. People living in shelters        4.1. Shelters for women.
                                            for women.

                                         5. People living in                5 .1. Temporary accommodation
                                            residential facilities                shelters.                                Social Rights
                                            for immigrants.                 5.2. Accommodation for
                                                                                  immigrant workers.                       2016-2020 Barcelona
                                                                                                                           Plan for Fighting

                                         6. People in the process of        6.1. Prisons.
                                            leaving institutions.           6.2. Medical treatment institutions
                                                                            6.3. Shelters for children and young people.

  Exclusion       Insecure housing       7. People receiving long-term       7.1. Residences for elderly people
  from housing                              support (for having been              who have been homeless.
                                            homeless).                       7.2. Residential centres with support for
                                                                                  people who have been homeless.

                                         8. People living in                 8 .1. With friends or family.
                                            an insecure home.                8.2. Subletting.
                                                                             8.3. Squatting.

                                         9. People living under              9.1. In the process of eviction.
                                            the threat of eviction                for failing to pay rent.
                                                                             9.2. In the process of foreclosure.

                                        10. People living                   10.1. Households with a history of
                                            under threat of violence.             domestic violence or complaints
                                                                                  reported to the police.

  Exclusion       Unsuitable housing    11. People living in                11.1. Mobile homes, caravans.
  from housing                              “unconventional” and            11.2. “Unconventional” building.
                                            temporary structures            11.3. Temporary structures.

                                        12. People living in                12.1. Housing unsuitable
                                           unhealthy housing.                     for everyday life.

                                        13. People living in                13.1. Housing occupied to the point
                                            overcrowded conditions.               of overcrowded conditions.

The seriousness of the situations         Towards a people-centred model for
                      faced by homeless people sleeping         fighting homelessness
                      on the streets and the increase in this
                      reality in most European cities over      If a person is to rebuild their life fol-
                      the last three decades have led mu-       lowing the impact of having lost
                      nicipal authorities to create special-    everything and despite having lived
                      ist measures within the framework         on the streets, they will need finan-
                      of social services and civil society or   cial, housing and emotional stabili-
                      to encourage organisations to tackle      ty. Hence the good results of policies
                      these problems. During the decades        aimed at providing stable housing as a
                      of expansion of welfare states and        first step in the social accompaniment
                      subsequently, up to the 1990s, so-        process. Policies which, usually under
                      cial services tackled the problem of      the label of “housing first”, abandon
                      homelessness by putting the focus         the idea that independent housing is
                      on its manifestation on the streets,      the culmination of an inclusive pro-
                      by creating residential resources         cess monitored and supervised by
Social Rights
                      and designing social accompaniment        professionals.
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Plan for Fighting
                      and treatment programmes which, in
Homelessness          many cases, emulated the way the          The learning that comes from running
                      health-care system worked. From the       housing-first projects is realised in
                      perspective that homeless people          what we can call housing-led policies,
                      had cut their ties with social protec-    which guide the professional praxis
                      tion mechanisms in general and so-        of social services and institutions to-
                      cial services in particular, emergency    wards reconstructing homes in their
                      shelter in hostels was regarded as a      broadest sense. People's empower-
                      good time for establishing links with     ment is sought through living and res-
                      social services, developing the rela-     idential stability and having spaces
                      tionship with users by covering their     available for rebuilding emotional and
                      most basic needs.                         social ties. Social intervention meth-
                                                                ods have to be transformed by limiting
                      Barcelona City Council and the Home-      the exercise of control functions and
                      less People Care Network have been        focusing professionals on the tasks of
                      working to break away from the clas-      accompanying and respecting the de-
                      sic approach to care for homeless         cisions and independence of the per-
                      people for nearly a decade now. This      son they are helping.
                      approach to housing exclusion as a
                      continuum of precarious and inac-         This respect must also apply to
                      cessible housing situations compels       first-contact work or the relationship
                      us to question the traditional view of    of the authority and welfare institu-
                      homelessness as a social pathology,       tions with people living on the streets.
                      and suggest the common denomina-          From the rights perspective too, the
                      tor between people afflicted by it is     right to the city must be guaranteed
                      the fact they do not have a home. As      for people who prefer sleeping out in
                      a consequence, if the aim is to com-      the open to the alternatives offered
                      bat the situation of nearly a thou-       them in their homeless everyday
                      sand people sleeping on the streets       lives. This guarantee takes the form
                      of Barcelona on any given night, poli-    of fighting against policies of evicting
                      cies will have to be designed which at    and displacing homeless people, in
                      least consider the problems that are      an effective access to sanitary facili-
                      described by the ETHOS categories.        ties and drinking water, and in keeping
                                                                the door open to care circuits directly,
                                                                without delay or dissuasive measures.
Empowerment        through    respect                               Technical and academic literature
must also be achieved by actively                                   on preventing housing exclusion dis-
listening to the people who have al-                                tinguishes three levels:7
ways been considered the object of
policies. Driving measures for exer-                                1. Primary prevention, which in-
cising political rights, establishing                                  cludes initiatives aimed at fight-
mechanisms for complaining about                                       ing the structural causes to hous-
and reporting abuses and violations                                    ing precariousness and reducing
of rights, creating participatory and                                  the risk of homelessness among
co-decision spaces in institutions                                     the population affected by impov-
and coordinating direct participatory                                  erishment and social exclusion
spaces for people affected in design-                                  processes.
ing municipal policies.
                                                                    2. Secondary prevention, involving
                                                                       initiatives aimed at individuals or   15
Towards structural prevention
                                                                       households at immediate risk of
                                                                       losing their homes.                   Social Rights
Like practically all big European cit-
ies, Barcelona has seen twenty years                                3. Tertiary prevention, grouping to-     2016-2020 Barcelona
                                                                                                             Plan for Fighting
of steady growth in the resources                                      gether initiatives aimed at cre-      Homelessness

earmarked for providing care for                                       ating mechanisms for providing
homeless people. Increased num-                                        homeless people with access to
bers of places in facilities, a broader                                stable housing and preventing
range of public and private services                                   them from relapsing into home-
and innovations in social intervention                                 lessness.
methods have paralleled the growth
in housing exclusion and the num-                                   Of all the many factors that interact
ber of people who find themselves                                   to define people’s risk of suffering
with no choice but to sleep on the                                  from severe housing exclusion, it is
streets. Caring for homeless people                                 the structural factors that have be-
and establishing policies that enable                               come key to explaining the rise in
drastic reductions in the numbers                                   the number of people without a roof
of people living on the streets is an                               or home in European cities. Labour
unavoidable political commitment in                                 and housing markets systematically
fighting inequalities and poverty in                                and permanently exclude part of the
our city. However, policies focused on                              population in big urban centres. The
reversing the effects of housing ex-                                economy of global cities is subject
clusion have to be accompanied by                                   to financialisation processes that
preventive policies that stop people                                exceed the capacity of municipali-
from ending up homeless.                                            ties, supra-municipal organisations
                                                                    and states to act. The city's attrac-
                                                                    tion to high-income tourists and pro-
                                                                    fessionals is causing a rise in rental
                                                                    prices. Meanwhile, salaries are fall-
                                                                    ing, jobs in the tourist industry are
                                                                    following their course towards job
                                                                    insecurity and long-term unemploy-
                                                                    ment is growing.

7 Shinn, M., Baumohl, J. & Hopper, K. (2001). The Prevention of Homelessness Revisited.
  Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 1(1), 95-127.
Big cities such as Barcelona are          every residential resource, or prior-
                      the final destiny of migratory flows      itising accommodation policies that
                      caused by the destruction of mil-         provide stable access to housing
                      lions of people's habitats around the     (housing-first and housing-led poli-
                      world. A combination of cross-border      cies), would be some of the tertiary
                      movements and increasingly restric-       prevention policies that are being
                      tive migratory policies is condemn-       implemented in Europe's big cities.
                      ing a growing proportion of these         Secondary prevention policies have
                      cities’ residents to administrative       received a considerable impetus
                      exclusion. An administrative exclu-       from the recent mortgage crisis. The
                      sion that poses a serious obstacle        pressure of evictions and removals
                      to housing or maintaining a certain       on cities has compelled organisa-
                      housing stability.                        tions and local authorities to con-
                                                                siderably expand rapid rehousing to
                      The actions traditionally taken by or-    households affected and emergency
                      ganisations or specialist municipal       grants to pay for housing. Such initi-
Social Rights
                      services come under direct care for       atives are aimed at preventing peo-
2016-2020 Barcelona
Plan for Fighting
                      people in housing exclusion situations    ple who have lost their homes from
Homelessness          or in tertiary prevention areas, where-   having to spend a single night on the
                      as primary and secondary prevention       streets. They are usually far removed
                      policies, where they exist, fall under    from the area of action of organisa-
                      the jurisdiction of other local author-   tions caring for homeless people and
                      ity sectors or supra-municipal areas.     from specialist services. Blocking
                                                                the exclusion paths that lead to the
                      Reflection on the chronification          streets is usually a function of basic
                      of the most extreme situations of         social services or part of the general
                      homelessness and the relapses of          support strategies of social organi-
                      people attended to has, over the last     sations in situations of poverty.
                      two decades, led care services to
                      consider tertiary prevention strat-       Dealing with the structural factors
                      egies and look for more successful        causing the various types of home-
                      social-care methods when it comes         lessness falls under supra-municipal
                      to ensuring people who have lived on      jurisdiction or at least requires a con-
                      the streets achieve financial, hous-      siderable effort in coordination be-
                      ing and emotional stability. Improv-      tween several levels of public action.
                      ing cooperation between the various       An increase in the stock of social rent-
                      levels of intervention (street, area      al housing, an income-guarantee sys-
                      social services and centres), coor-       tem that drastically reduced severe
                      dinating a portfolio of services that     poverty and the growth of inequali-
                      puts people at the centre and brings      ties between the poorest members
                      about a constant change in models         of the population and risk threshold
                      and an endless itinerary for each and     for exclusion, as well as a change of
                                                                     Fighting homelessness from a
                                                                     gender perspective

direction in migratory policies, would                               Women are over-represented among
significantly reduce the pressure on                                 the planet’s poorest people.8 When
resources for homeless people. A goal                                it comes to poverty in Barcelona
we could also reach through inter-ad-                                and Catalonia, women are much
ministrative coordination in de-in-                                  more vulnerable than men.9,10,11 But
stitutionalisation processes, which                                  despite this female side to poverty,
ensured that hospitalisation or incar-                               homelessness is regarded as a prob-
ceration would not become a prelimi-                                 lem that mostly affects men. A lim-
nary step towards homelessness, and                                  ited perspective of the phenomenon
by establishing risk detection and                                   would beg the question: how can it
anticipation strategies in social and                                be, given the feminisation of pover-
health-care services.                                                ty in our city, that only 9% to 11% of
                                                                     the homeless people sleeping on the
Barcelona’s strategy for fighting                                    streets in Barcelona are women?12
homelessness is based on the city’s
existing structures and knowledge                                    But homelessness has many faces,
                                                                                                                                    Social Rights
in caring for people without a roof or                               and while the most visible ones are
home, though it also aims to go be-                                  mostly male, it is not true that it is                         2016-2020 Barcelona
                                                                                                                                    Plan for Fighting
yond the care perspective by incorpo-                                a social problem that does not af-                             Homelessness

rating primary- and secondary-pre-                                   fect women. Female homelessness
vention strategies and coordinating                                  is less visible because it is mani-
the efforts of the local authority and                               fested off the streets. Women are
social entities with supra-municipal                                 the central figures in private types
authorities to establish structural                                  of housing exclusion, the home-
prevention initiatives. A desirable                                  lessness behind closed doors, sit-
goal would be a social protection                                    uations of housing precariousness
system that had an effect on the                                     that do not occur on the streets but
structural causes, where there were                                  which limit their capacity to devel-
transition mechanisms following                                      op an independent life project and
situations of institutionalisation to                                the possibilities of leaving situa-
ensure no one was left helpless and                                  tions of extreme poverty.
homeless, and where, when the gen-
eral protection mechanisms failed,                                   The housing exclusion processes
care policies for the people affected                                that lead to homelessness oper-
would be activated and give priority                                 ate differently between women and
to maintaining their independence                                    men. Despite the worrying lack of of-
and relationship networks.                                           ficial data on female homelessness
                                                                     in the EU (womenshomlessness.org),
                                                                     research carried out in several
                                                                     countries and cities allow us to
                                                                     note several causes of the lower
                                                                     proportion of women sleeping on

8 UN, Economic and Social Council, “Examination and evaluation of the application of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for
   Action and the results of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly. Secretary-General's report”.
9 Belzunegui and Valls (2014) show in their report La pobreza en España desde una perspectiva de género how the convergence
   of the rate of risk of poverty between men and women seen in Spain over the last few years of crisis is due to the worsening
   of the financial situation of families and does not consider intra-family distribution of resources. Using methods that
   approach the risk of poverty under the supposition of personal independence, the authors conclude that the rate of risk of
   poverty is insensitive to inequalities between men and women and that women continue to suffer poverty more intensely and
   more often .
10 Belzunegui, A. (2012). Socialización de la pobreza en España. Barcelona: lcaria.
11 Sarasa, S. & Sales, A. (2009). Itineraris i factors d’exclusió social. Barcelona: Barcelona City Council. Barcelona
   Ombudsman. Recovered from, 20(04), 2015.
12 Sales, Albert; Uribe, Joan; Marco, Inés (2015) Diagnosi 2015. La situació del sensellarisme a Barcelona: evolució i polítiques
   d’intervenció. Barcelona Homeless People Care Network.
the streets around Europe and alert                         psychological disturbances that
                      us to the invisibility of female resi-                      more often cause a break with fami-
                      dential exclusion.                                          ly and social networks.17

                      Research carried out in Ireland,13                          While resorting to friends, family
                      the United States and England14                             or acquaintances may be a protec-
                      reached the same conclusion that                            tive factor for women against the
                      women ask for help from social ser-                         most extreme forms of housing ex-
                      vices to deal with housing problems                         clusion, it is the informal relation-
                      only where friend and family support                        ship networks themselves that put
                      networks fail. In the case of women                         women, when they are unable to
                      with children in their care, the re-                        access housing, in exploitative and
                      fusal to accept monitoring by social                        precarious situations that also rep-
                      services and the fear of losing their                       resent types of homelessness, with
                      decision-making powers with regard                          an impact on their well-being and
                      to their children, and custody over                         structure of opportunities when it
Social Rights
                      them, explain why they seek infor-                          comes to building a decent-life pro-
2016-2020 Barcelona
Plan for Fighting
                      mal solutions first and foremost.                           ject.18 Situations that are difficult to
Homelessness          As for women on their own, strong-                          quantify or detect, such as living in
                      er personal relationships than men                          over-crowded flats, confiding in the
                      have, and the consequent capacity                           good will of whoever provides them
                      for mobilising their own social capi-                       with accommodation, living in sublet
                      tal, help to prevent them from ending                       housing without legal security or any
                      up living on the streets or in shelter                      capacity to demonstrate residency,
                      and hostel networks. Because of the                         or taking refuge in the house of fam-
                      gender roles historically assigned                          ily members who are also experienc-
                      to them, women maintain stronger                            ing situations of social vulnerability,
                      social links with their families and                        with the tensions that entails.
                      friends. The plurality of roles they
                      play in their everyday lives appears                        The classic orientation of policies
                      to give them a greater capacity for                         for caring for homeless people and
                      mobilising relational resources15                           a blinkered perspective on the phe-
                      which, at times of extreme insecu-                          nomenon of homelessness have
                      rity, could protect them from ending                        limited the capacity for systematis-
                      up on the streets16 The identification                      ing data and providing knowledge
                      of men and their role, on the other                         of women’s housing exclusion pro-
                      hand, much more closely linked to                           cesses. The data collected every
                      the labour market and receiving an                          year in Barcelona by the XAPSLL re-
                      income. A break with or exclusion                           veal a strong over-representation of
                      from the labour market is more often                        men in the ETHOS categories that
                      related to a subjective perception of                       have traditionally been the target of
                      personal failure and emotional and                          intervention by organisations and

                                     13 Mayock, P., Sheridan, S. & Parker, S. (2012). “Migrant women and homelessness: the role of
                                        gender-based violence”. European Journal of Homelessness.
                                     14 Passaro, J. (2014). The Unequal Homeless: Men on the Streets, Women in Their Place. Routledge.
                                     15 Bourdieu, P. (2000). La dominación masculina. Anagrama.
                                     16 Escudero Carretero, M. J. (2003). “Mujeres sin hogar en Granada. Un estudio etnográfico.” Colección
                                        Feminae de la Editorial Universidad de Granada.
                                     17 Sales, Albert; Uribe, Joan; Marco, Inés (2015) Diagnosi 2015. La situació del sensellarisme a
                                        Barcelona: evolució i polítiques d’intervenció. Barcelona Homeless People Care Network.
                                     18 Baptista, I. (2010) “Women and Homelessness”, in: E. O’Sullivan, V. Busch-Geertsema, D. Quilgars and N.
                                        Pleace (Eds.) Homelessness Research in Europe (Brussels: FEANTSA).
services specialising in care for the      Female homelessness is a different
homeless. According to the XAPSLL,         from male homelessness and its
around 11% of the people sleeping          analysis is held back by difficulties
on the streets in 2015 were women.         in collecting data on the housing
Women also represented 14% of all          exclusion that is experienced away
the people who spent their nights in       from the streets and social service
emergency hostels and centres. In          intervention. Adopting a broad defi-
the case of housing facilities, col-       nition of homelessness, such as the
lective facilities and centres offer-      one FEANTSA proposes with the
ing more intense social monitoring,        ETHOS categories, compels us to
20% of all residents were women. As        design policies that have an effect
for inclusive flats and other shared       on the reality of people living in over-
housing with professional support,         crowded or unsuitable housing, un-
23% of residents were women. And           der the threat of eviction, or on the
30% of the people living in sublet         point of leaving a residential institu-
housing or pensions thanks to fund-        tion or prison without any available
                                                                                      Social Rights
ing from an institution or social ser-     housing outside. As a result, we are
vices were women.                          also compelled to adopt a preventive       2016-2020 Barcelona
                                                                                      Plan for Fighting
                                           approach, often neglected by care          Homelessness

Based on the definition of homeless-       services for homeless people, and to
ness offered by the ETHOS classifi-        pay attention to housing exclusion
cation, the XAPSLL data are very ac-       processes with women at the centre.
curate in accounting for the people
in the categories closest to the situ-
ation of living on the streets though
they suffer from serious gaps when it
comes to approaching housing exclu-
sion situations that are not tradition-
ally considered in policies for caring
for homeless people. There is a lack
of data for the categories “Living in
temporary accommodation reserved
for immigrants and asylum-seekers”,
“Living in a residential or detention
institution with the aim of receiving
accommodation in a definite period
without a shelter available”, “Living
under threat of eviction”, “Living un-
der threat of violence from family or
partner”, “Living in housing that is not
suitable according to the legislation”
and “Living in overcrowded housing”.
Table 2. Number of homeless people in Barcelona. ETHOS classification. 11 March, 2015

                                                      Operative category                           Total             Number           Number            Number of minors under the
                                                                                                   number            of men           of women          age of 18 (boys and girls)

                      Without a roof                   1. Living in a public space                 693               89.03 %          10.97 %           0.00 %
                                                          or outdoors1.

                                                       2. Spending the night in a hostel           252               85.71 %          14.29 %           0.00 %
                                                          and/or forced to spend the rest
                                                          of the day in a public space.

                      Without a home                   3. Living in hostels or centres             511               68.69 %          19.96 %           11.35 %
                                                          for homeless people.
                                                          Temporary shelters.

                                                       4. Living in shelters for women.            4                 0.00 %           50.00 %           50.00 %

20                                                     5. Living in temporary                      nd
                                                          accommodation reserved for
                                                          immigrants and asylum
Social Rights                                             seekers.

2016-2020 Barcelona                                    6. Living in a residential                  nd
Plan for Fighting                                         or detention institution
Homelessness                                              with the aim of receiving
                                                          accommodation in a definite
                                                          period without a shelter

                                                       7. Living in accommodation with             481               58.63 %          23.28 %           18.09 %
                                                          ongoing support for homeless

                      Insecure housing                 8. Living in housing under an               424               52.59 %          30.90 %           16.51 %
                                                          insecure tenancy system.
                                                          Without paying rent.

                                                       9. Living under threat of                   nd

                                                      10. Living under threat of violence
                                                          from family or partner.

                      Unsuitable housing              11. Living in temporary or                   434               54.61 %          23.73 %           21.66 %
                                                          unconventional structures2.

                                                      12. Living in unsuitable housing             nd
                                                          according to legislation.

                                                      13. Living in overcrowded housing.           nd

                      TOTAL                                                                        2,799             68.81%           20.08%            11.11%

                      (1) Proportion of men, women and minors, according to contacts made by Barcelona City Council’s Social Integration Service during the month of March 2015.
                      (2) Proportion of men, women and minors, contacted in settlements by Barcelona City Council’s Social Integration Service in 2014.

                      Source: Sales et al. 2015
Women and care policies for home-                                      their home, they are hardly likely to
less people                                                            turn it into an intimate space.

By focusing on highly masculinised                                     Research carried out in Sweden20
situations of homelessness, care                                       also suggests that women avoid hos-
policies for homeless people have                                      tels and emergency social housing
established a portfolio of services                                    resources for homeless people be-
and intervention methods that are                                      cause of the social stigma that links
better suited to needs linked to tra-                                  living on the street to prostitution. In-
ditionally male, rather than female,                                   terviews with women who have lived
lifestyles. The patterns of behaviour                                  without a roof over their head in Bar-
of men and women living in hous-                                       celona demonstrate this strong per-
ing exclusion situations and their                                     ception of a link with prostitution.
relationship with emergency hous-
ing resources are determined by the                                    The strategies for fighting home-
fact that such accommodation was                                       lessness embarked on in pioneering
                                                                                                                                    Social Rights
designed for male residents and are                                    countries include researching the
mostly occupied by men. The sense                                      neighbourhoods that expel wom-                               2016-2020 Barcelona
                                                                                                                                    Plan for Fighting
of fear and lack of intimacy that los-                                 en from residential services and re-                         Homelessness

ing a home causes persists very in-                                    sources for homeless people. The in-
tensely among women who have to                                        visibility of homeless women on the
use these types of resources.19                                        streets and in specialist centres can-
                                                                       not be a pretext for ignoring the dra-
Added to the material discomfort of                                    mas that flow from female housing
residing in a male environment is the                                  exclusion when designing policies.
double stigmatisation that homeless
women suffer from. First, the stigma                                   Female homelessness and violence
of poverty experienced on the streets
itself, and second, the stigma of their                                Male violence and female home-
alleged abandonment of their role as                                   lessness are closely connected, and
carer in the domestic environment.                                     this can be seen especially when we
Eroding family ties to the point where                                 examine situations on the streets.21
they are broken is experienced as                                      Where this relationship has been
personal failure by homeless wom-                                      studied, the results show that the
en and their circle. Such breaks are                                   proportion of women who were living
prolonged and worsened when resi-                                      on the streets and had experienced
dential facilities make it hard or im-                                 situations of violence from their
possible to rebuild these ties. Failure                                partners was very high. In Sweden,
to maintain spaces of intimacy in                                      everything would suggest that flee-
public or private housing resources                                    ing physical assaults from partners
makes the prospect of re-establish-                                    is the main cause for homelessness
ing family times more remote over                                      among women. Work conducted in
time. When a homeless person is                                        Barcelona reveals that the need to
unable to regard the care facility as                                  break with known spaces and so-

19 Sales, Albert; Uribe, Joan; Marco, Inés (2015) Diagnosi 2015. La situació del sensellarisme a Barcelona: evolució i polítiques
   d’intervenció. Barcelona Homeless People Care Network.
20 Busch-Geertsema, V., Edgar, W., O’Sullivan, E. & Pleace, N. (2010, December). “Homelessness and Homeless Policies in
   Europe: Lessons from Research.”
 21Baptista, I. (2010) “Women and Homelessness”, in: E. O’Sullivan, V. Busch-Geertsema, D. Quilgars and N. Pleace (Eds.)
   Homelessness Research in Europe (Brussels: FEANTSA).
cial networks in order to escape from                                Women residing in homeless care fa-
                      male violence weakens women’s ca-                                    cilities also frequently mention hav-
                      pacity to resort to informal alterna-                                ing been victims of sexual harass-
                      tives for alleviating a temporary situ-                              ment and almost always assert they
                      ation of housing exclusion22.                                        feel at risk26.

                      In the United Kingdom, a woman at                                    Gender mainstreaming in fighting
                      risk of being a victim of gender vi-                                 homelessness
                      olence is legally recognised as a
                      homeless person23. This recognition                                  If we are to develop policies to fight
                      is key to gaining priority access to so-                             homelessness from a gender per-
                      cial housing, although recent studies                                spective, we shall have to consider
                      suggest that women migrants mar-                                     the phenomenon in all its complex-
                      ried to UK citizens continue to feel                                 ity and broaden our understanding
                      extremely vulnerable to situations of                                of the processes of social exclusion.
                      homelessness arising from gender                                     Preventive initiatives that detect and
Social Rights
                      violence because of the risk of facing                               combat the housing exclusion suf-
2016-2020 Barcelona
Plan for Fighting
                      the loss of their residency permit and                               fered by people living in substandard
Homelessness          a process of repatriation24.                                         housing, overcrowded flats or sublet
                                                                                           rooms make homeless women visi-
                      Once women are living on the streets,                                ble, while also preventing the flow of
                      violence and sexual pressure con-                                    more people into situations of living
                      tinue to be problems they perceive                                   on the streets.
                      much more strongly than men. Fear
                      and a sense of insecurity seem to be                                 When designing measures aimed at
                      determining factors for seeking alter-                               people who no longer have a home,
                      native strategies to sleeping in public                              an approach that is focused on indi-
                      spaces, and even accepting rejected                                  viduals rather than portfolios of ser-
                      institutional support when the social                                vices will enable care to be provided
                      support networks had been effec-                                     from a gender perspective and with
                      tive25. Women who have spent short                                   greater quality and respect towards
                      periods living on the streets talk of                                people’s dignity. Implementing poli-
                      fairly frequent and intense situations                               cies to provide housing as a first step
                      of harassment. These women are at                                    in the process of linking up with so-
                      the receiving end of extreme sexu-                                   cial services has proved to be a more
                      al pressure, be it physical or verbal.                               effective strategy than one which
                      Women living on the streets often re-                                initiates intervention in hostels and
                      sort to group strategies to increase                                 collective housing facilities. The
                      their sense of security, whether by                                  Housing First programmes and the
                      grouping together with other women                                   creation of small cohabitation units
                      or joining men’s groups.                                             with a high component of self-man-

                      22 Sales, Albert; Uribe, Joan; Marco, Inés (2015) Diagnosi 2015. La situació del sensellarisme a Barcelona: evolució i polítiques
                         d’intervenció. Barcelona Homeless People Care Network.
                      23 Busch-Geertsema, V., Edgar, W., O’Sullivan, E. & Pleace, N. (2010, December). “Homelessness and Homeless Policies in
                         Europe: Lessons from Research.” In Conference on Homelessness (Vol. 9, p. 10).
                      24 Mayock, P., & Sheridan, S. (2012). “Women’s ‘Journeys’ to Homelessness: Key Findings from a Biographical Study of Homeless
                         Women in Ireland”. Women and Homelessness in Ireland, Research Paper, 1.
                      25 Escudero Carretero, M. J. (2003). “Mujeres sin hogar en Granada. Un estudio etnográfico.” Colección Feminae de la Editorial
                         Universidad de Granada.
                      26 Sales, Albert; Uribe, Joan; Marco, Inés (2015) Diagnosi 2015. La situació del sensellarisme a Barcelona: evolució i polítiques
                         d’intervenció. Barcelona Homeless People Care Network.
agement present clear advantages
for women who have lost their homes
to rebuild their social links.

Feminist demands to “put lives and
people at the centre” can help us
not just to highlight the respective,
differing needs of men and women
but also to propose public action
that takes account of the complexi-
ty of the situation homeless people
experience and the multiple needs
of each person left without a home,
whether material (housing and food)
or emotional and psychological.
                                        Social Rights

                                        2016-2020 Barcelona
                                        Plan for Fighting
                      METHOD OF PREPARATION

                      The process of drawing up the Plan          XAPSLL member organisations de-
                      involved the following participatory,       liberated, drew up proposals and
                      preparatory and consensus spaces:           reached agreements. The process
                                                                  was monitored by the Standing Com-
                      Discussion and debate open to the           mittee and four working sessions
                      public and collection of proposals          open to all the organisations were
                      from the PAM preparatory process.           held in September and October 2016,
                      A city debate on homelessness was           during which the proposals were de-
                      held on 30 March 2016, as part of the       bated and formulated which were
                      PAM preparatory process. Sixty peo-         afterwards ratified at the plenary
                      ple took part in it, including profes-      meeting of 11 November 2016.
                      sionals and voluntary organisation
                      workers, people who had suffered or         A working group was set up, com-
                      were suffering from homelessness            posed of people who had been
                      and members of the public interest-         through situations of homelessness,
                      ed in the problem.                          which has been discussing, debating
Social Rights
                                                                  and putting forward proposals at the
2016-2020 Barcelona
Plan for Fighting
                      Deliberation on the part of municipal       Municipal Council of Social Welfare
Homelessness          teams: specific meetings and prepa-         since April. Made up of 18 people,
                      ration of reports by each of the ser-       this group held 6 working sessions
                      vices at the Department of Care for         between April and November 2016.
                      Vulnerable People and the Depart-
                      ment of Social Intervention in Public       1st session, 28 April:
                      Spaces. The process began in May            Introduction and welcome with the
                      2016 and ended in August. Thirteen          Deputy Mayor for Social Rights.
                      municipal teams took part in it:
                                                                  2nd session, 23 May:
                                                                  Working session on residential facili-
                      Department of Social Intervention in Pub-
                                                                  ties with municipal managers.
                      lic Spaces:
                         • SIS Detection                          3rd session, 4 July:
                         • SIS Treatment                          Working session on housing policies
                                                                  with municipal managers.
                         • SISFA - Rom
                         • OPAI                                   4th session, 14 September:
                                                                  Internal group working session to
                         • Department of Care for Vulnera-        formulate proposals.
                           ble People. Primary shelters (Zona
                           Franca, Sarrià, Nou Barris).           5th session, 4 October:
                         • Medium-stay centres (Meridiana,        Internal group working session to
                           Hort de la Vila, Creu dels Molers,     formulate proposals on street care
                           Horta, Sta. Lluïsa Marillach, Can      teams and communication policies
                           Planes).                               for fighting stigmatisation.
                         • Day centres (Meridiana, Poble Sec,     6th session, 23 November:
                           Horta, Sta. Lluïsa Marillach).         Discussion of the draft Plan.
                         • Sanitation Service, Inclusive Hous-
                           ing (team), Housing First programme
                         • Other relevant services given their
                           knowledge of the situation: Over-
                           night Emergency Care Centre
                           (CANE), Social Emergencies Centre
                           (CUESB) and Dispute Management
                           Service (SGC).

Housing exclusion and
homelessness in Barcelona

The XAPSLL has been working since                                 ries to monitor the trend in the num-
2008 to establish a data-collecting                               ber of people living on the streets,
system that enables the situation                                 supplementing the data and knowl-
of homelessness in Barcelona to                                   edge available to the SIS through its
be monitored, along with the initia-                              day-to-day detection and care work.
tives that organisations and the lo-
cal authority implement to attend to                              This diagnostic work has not just
people affected by severe housing                                 been one of the XAPSLL’s key pro-
exclusion. In 2008, the XAPSLL’s or-                              jects for joint policy production and
ganisations and the City Council car-                             coordination, it has also enabled
ried out their first count of the num-                            Barcelona to have fairly full data on
ber of people sleeping on the streets                             the development of the problem at
and in accommodation intended for                                 its disposal and to create spaces for
providing care for homeless people.                               sharing information and knowledge                       25
Basic social and demographic indi-                                among all the players committed to
cators were gathered and brief sur-                               providing care for homeless people.
                                                                                                                          Social Rights
veys conducted on a sample of the                                 The state of the situation presented
people contacted on the streets. A                                in the following paragraphs com-                        2016-2020 Barcelona
                                                                                                                          Plan for Fighting
total of 700 volunteers helped to                                 pletes the reports published by the                     Homelessness

provide a preliminary reading of the                              XAPSLL with the results of the 2016
situation of homelessness in the city,                            count and other data provided by
carried out during a single night to                              several municipal services.
avoid duplications in the count.
                                                                  Increased pressure on housing re-
A second count was done in 2011, in                               sources intended for homeless people
which 750 volunteers took part. Once
again, this involved getting the num-                             The number of people in Barcelona
ber of people who spent the night on                              sleeping in specialist housing re-
the city’s streets and in specialist                              sources belonging to social organi-
facilities during a single night. This                            sations and the local authority grew
count was the starting point for suc-                             by 60% between 2008 and 2016,
cessive diagnostic reports on home-                               from 1,190 people provided with ac-
lessness in 2013 and 2015, when the                               commodation in various types of re-
XASPLL continued to systematically                                sources on 11 March 2008 to 1,907
collect the number, and social and                                on 18 May 2016. At the same time,
demographic profiles, of people ac-                               the counts done in the city and the
commodated in various resources on                                data from the City Council’s Social
one night, replacing citizen counts                               Integration Service suggest a growth
with estimates based on data from                                 in the number of people sleeping on
Barcelona City Council’s Social Inte-                             the streets. While the first exhaus-
gration Service (SIS).                                            tive count carried out on 11 March
                                                                  2008 recorded 658 people spending
XAPSLL organisations and the City                                 the night in public spaces, the sec-
Council made a further one-night                                  ond on 18 May 2016 recorded a fig-
count on 18 May 2016, with the inten-                             ure of 941. That would represent an
tion of guaranteeing a four-year se-                              increase of 37% in 8 years27.

27 Data from 2011 taken from Sales et al. (2015); data from 2016 provided by the Barcelona Homeless People Care Network
   based on the count carried out on 18 May.
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