Model “Housing First / Housing First” is currently most developed social innovation in the fight against homelessness. This model become widely use in Europe and worldwide in a relatively short period of time. Housing First is based on the belief that housing is a basic human right and a key factor of social inclusion. It proved to be very effective in the fight against homelessness and its implementation is recommended at all levels (local, regional, national and European). There is a major challenge of establishing new practices and learning from good practice of other EU Member States in the fight against homelessness in Croatia. A big challenge is the adaptation of model “Housing First ” to the national context.
Model ” Housing First” was developed in New York by the organization “Patways to Housing”. After the establishment of “Patways Housing First”, there were several forms of this model in the US and in several EU Member States, including Denmark, Finland, Ireland, France, Hungary, Netherland, Portugal, Austria and the UK. All these models share the same philosophy, but they differ in some aspects of implementation.
The model allows independent living for homeless, safely permanent renting, immediately or as soon as possible, and housing combined with treatment and support. Model also allows housing before any other service is provided . Once safely accommodated, without fear of everyday where to live, homeless people are starting to focus on other areas of life.
The aim of the pilot project “Development of innovative prevention programs and social inclusion of homeless people through the activities of civil society ” is to gain insight into innovative efficient models in combating homelessness, which have become part of social programs of European cities. In particular we will focus on the model of “Housing First”.
Reviewing the successful implementation of the model “Housing First” in other European cities will decided to adapt it to the national context. We will create a pilot project that will be applied in Split and Rijeka, could eventually spread to other major cities, which are confronted with an increase in the number of homeless people and those at risk of homelessness and housing exclusion. Similarly, the pilot project is aimed at presenting the problem of homelessness to entire Croatian public through collection of all relevant data. In this way, the problem will be put for the first time on the agenda of local and national policies and will be recognized as a social problem with the risk of an increase in Croatian accession to the EU.