Brussels announces €15 million to beef up anti-homeless strategy
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    Brussels announces €15 million to beef up anti-homeless strategy

    The plan will aim to tackle soaring homelessness by pushing increasingly for a housing-first approach. Credit: © Belga

    Brussels will roll out nearly €15 million to fight rising homelessness in the city and significantly increase funds for housing-first approaches, the welfare minister announced Friday.

    Following reports that the homeless population in the Belgian capital is soaring, Minister Alain Maron said that €14.8 million would be used for an anti-homelessness plan set to be launched in 2020.

    A census by local NGO La Strada showed that the homeless population of the city had nearly doubled over the past decade, with their 2018 census finding no fewer than 4,187 people sleeping rough in the streets.

    A total of €1.4 million will be made available to assist those at risk of eviction and to finding houses for those who are already living on the streets, Bruzz reports.

    Additionally, allocations for several housing-first initiatives will also increase to €1.4 million from the current €650,000, in a bid to significantly increase their operational capacity, which is expected to at least double by 2020.

    The joint budget of the region’s seven housing centres, 11 counselling services, and two emergency reception centres, among other similar structures, will be beefed up by an additional €4 million, with the budget of the SAMU social assistance agency also increased by 11%.

    The plan also provides for around €900,00 to be used by projects targetting specific homeless populations, such as youth and minors or ex-convicts.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times