More than 150 people attend the first “Right to a roof” meeting
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    More than 150 people attend the first “Right to a roof” meeting

    Around 150 people met in Brussels on Saturday for the first “Right to a roof” open meeting. The movement’s goal is to end homelessness in Brussels. 17 groups presented their work based on three themes: prevention, accommodation and information. 

    “Above all, “Right to a roof” is not a political movement: we are apolitical. However, we do want to submit our questions and recommendations to politicians”, says Daan Vinck, the director of the Hobo day centre for the homeless. 

    Launched in 2017 after the Samusocial scandal, “Right to a roof” is a group of 80 Brussels associations that want to eradicate poverty. The group wants to get people involved during the build-up to the elections and beyond, by creating a link between citizens and associations. The meeting was open to anyone who wanted to attend. 

    “The longer someone remains homeless, the more difficult it is for them to get out of that situation and the more damaged they become”, says Daan Vinck. The movement focuses mostly on prevention, while making sure that those who do end up homeless get off the streets as quick as possible. 

    The 17 groups handle squats, empty accommodation, private “social accommodation”, fight extortionate rents, anti-homeless furniture and “promote information based on the changing reality of homelessness in Brussels”. 

    “Right to a roof” is convinced that ending homelessness in Brussels is possible. “The cities that did it all decided that, one day, they would allocate themselves what was necessary. This means it is society’s choice and a viable long-term investment”. 

    Jason Bennett
    The Brussels Times