RAIS in Europe
Throughout the history of the European Union, every effort has been made to promote the social policy of its member states. Europe has been leading the way both in terms of developing policies and forms of working, and securing funding, while at the same time setting standards for social policies and rights that member states have accepted and adapted to their national realities with varying degrees of success. Despite the present crisis, European social policy is still a benchmark, both for member countries and the rest of the world. For non-profit organizations, Europe provides a forum where we can defend our causes, vindicate the rights of the socially excluded, influence policy-making and foster innovative projects.
More recently, European social policies have increasingly targeted groups in situations of extreme exclusion, homelessness being the epitome of this condition. For the first time ever, mere declarations of intent are giving way to the real possibility of using EU political and financial instruments to adopt specific measures to eradicate homelessness.
At RAIS Fundación we have grown and developed over the years, both from an organizational perspective and in terms of our model of intervention. We have strengthened our commitment as a state body and have a far more profound understanding of social transformation and mobilization, which also means working to remove the structural factors that condition exclusion. In this sense, we are asserting our right to be present in every single sphere where we can exert our influence with a view to improving the rights of the most seriously excluded members of our society and responses to their requirements, to which end we clearly need to make our voice heard in Europe too.
HOMELESS MEET UP VLC Local action with european character.
HOMELESS MEET UP VLC is an action developed as part of the European End Street Homelessness Campaign, an European movement of cities focused on eradicating homelessness in the streets by 2020. RAIS Fundación leadered the campaign HOMELESS MEET UP in the Valencia edition, from 19th to 22th April, 2016.
We took to the streets for three continous nights to meet the homeless persons who sleep on them. 300 citizens, by their participation in the campaign, have showed us the existence of an unknown reality until now, or not attended. At least 404 persons live and sleep regularly in the streets of Valencia every night. Almost double of the homeless persons that stay in shelters or similar services (204 persons). The majority of these persons suffer a situation of great vulnerability that requires of urgent attention. 45% of the persons in a street situation countered in the city of Valencia has suffered assaults or aggressions, and 57% presents serious problems of health.
It is necessary to give response to this problem across solutions focused on prevention and a real care to the basic needs, as well as develop an innovative program oriented to the most vulnerable homeless persons, based on a model of housing and support, called Housing First.
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