More than 5000 homeless people’s lives have been transformed thanks to the Vincentian collaboration fostered by the Famvin Homeless Alliance over the last 3 years through the “13 Houses Campaign”. The Campaign is one of the main achievements that the FHA presents in its newly published Impact Report, covering the first three years of this global Vincentian Family Initiative.
The Impact Report details all the progress made towards these goals. Beyond the “13 Houses” Campaign, the FHA also highlights the conferences that brought together Vincentians from all over the world, the success of the Vincentian advocacy efforts which resulted in the first UN resolution providing an international definition of homelessness, and the development of Catholic Social Teaching on homelessness. The FHA has also responded to recent events, launching emergency appeals to support the Vincentian response to Covid19 and to support the victims of the explosion in Beirut.
Mark McGreevy, FHA Coordinator said “the FHA has been the witness of the global vibrancy of Vincentians committed to ending homelessness at all levels supported by our 14 trained FHA “Ambassadors” drawn from different parts of the Vincentian Family from across the globe. We thank all of the Vincentian Family branches who have actively taken part in the FHA, the Vincentian Family Executive Board, the FHA Commission members, FHA “Ambassadors” and all donors who have made the past three years possible, keeping alive the Vincentian Charism, and bringing hope to the most marginalized.”
The FHA is already working on a new strategic plan for the future that lies ahead, with the objective of fostering collaboration and exchange amongst Vincentian Family branches, and with the final goal of ending homelessness, one house at a time.
Santiago Agra, FHA Communications Manager Fha.email@example.com +44 7394176569
Notes for the editor
- The Famvin Homeless Alliance is a Vincentian Family initiative supporting established and emerging homelessness programs across the globe. We understand homelessness as those living on the street, refugees and those displaced from their home, and slum dwellers in inadequate housing. Our vision is a world where everyone has a place to call home and a stake in their community.
- The FHA was set up in 2017 to mark the 400th anniversary of the Vincentian Charism and it managed though Depaul International. The Vincentian Family is a global Catholic movement rooted in the spirituality and example of St Vincent de Paul, with a membership of over two million people.
Here you can download the Report in various languages
Among the one hundred signatures that call the world to solidarity and action to protect the homeless from the spread of COVID -19, we must mention the International Vincentian Family. This list, intended to continue to grow with the signatures of more institutions and individuals, can be viewed at https://covid19-protecting-screening-rehousing.com/ and includes the signatures of many beneficent associations and organizations that are active in different parts of the world.
The premise of this appeal is based on the vulnerability of the most fragile members of society at this complex moment, individuals such as those who are homeless, refugees, and those who already live in precarious conditions. The petition of these associations arose from this stated reality and it is for that reason that they request that the people included in the aforementioned categories be given priority in the COVID-19 screening test process. These men and women are at tangible risk of becoming infected with the virus, and their precarious living situation is an aggravating risk factor. Neglecting these individuals can only worsen the overall epidemiological situation. Therefore, urgent priority measures must be taken to stop the spread of COVID-19, including the protection of the homeless.
In order to protect the homeless and vulnerable individuals in general, it is essential: to promote access to safe and appropriately hygienic housing that allows isolation … thus controlling the possible transmission of the virus (in the present common housing conditions, such quarantine is impossible); to guarantee basic needs including food and access to health care; to provide necessary equipment for the reduction of risk (masks and gowns); since so many services and shelters are closed, there is a need to provide these vulnerable individuals with access to counseling and assistance; in light of the lack of safe alternatives to public space, there is a need to protect the homeless from punitive policy measures.
A proactive and systematic research policy is also needed. For obvious public health reasons, there is an urgent need to conduct Covid-19 tests on homeless people and refugees and to separate those who test positive and thus control the spread of the virus. At the same time there a need to test volunteers and medical personnel who are in daily contact with these vulnerable groups of people as well as to keep people sheltered. In light of the economic impact of the crisis, it is necessary to establish structural solutions for access to housing, which has become, more than ever, a public health imperative.
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