Earlier in February, before COVID-19 stopped the world, the United Nations adopted the first resolution defining homelessness. This was accomplished after the first debate on the issue in a generation. The resolution incorporates all the key categories of homelessness from the Framework of our partner the Institute of Global Homelessness. The UN keeps working despite the pandemic, and it is expected that the Economic and Social Council will adopt the resolution shortly, to then move to the General Assembly later in the year.
The resolution includes a formal written encouragement for Member States to harmonize the measurement and collection of data on homelessness. The Resolution strengthens the role of the UN Statistical Commission and emphasizes “the need to make concerted efforts to identify people experiencing homelessness.”
The resolution was adopted at the end of 58th Session of the Commission for Social Development, which focused on affordable housing and social protection for all in an effort to address homelessness. Vincentian advocacy has played a vital role in introducing homelessness to the UN Agenda. The advocacy efforts by the NGO Working Group to End Homelessness made it possible for this issue to be the priority theme of the 58th Session. The Working Group, created by the Vincentian Family, brings together organizations from all over the world. Until then, the group was coordinated by Father Memo Campuzano CM.
The FHA and our partners, Depaul International and the IGH, also members of the NGO Working Group, powered the “Make us count” campaign with the intention of bringing the voices of people experiencing homelessness around the world to the discussions in the UN.
Our long-term goal is to introduce homelessness as an indicator in the next set of Sustainable Developments Goals planned for 2030.