How will a global framework help to end homelessness?
Meaningful collaboration requires shared vocabulary. We’ve heard consistently from our partners around the globe their frustration with time spent with colleagues across borders debating what homelessness means, rather than moving forward the real work to resolve homelessness. We hope the framework will act as a reference point to limit such definitional conversations, bringing the focus back to solutions. Second, the IGH Framework is meant to provide a basis for a global estimate of people affected by homelessness to enable “apples to apples” comparisons.
Homelessness looks different everywhere. Why use one definition?
The definition “lacking access to minimally adequate housing” is broad. Any country or city can adopt those categories within the framework that best reflect their own local conditions. We are not assuming all categories will be adopted everywhere, but we do hope that the IGH Framework supports efforts to develop more precise local definitions and encourages collaboration.
Why will IGH focus only on some forms of homelessness?
IGH will focus our work with practitioners, policymakers and researchers whose efforts primarily address the types of homelessness within categories one and two (a-c) of the framework. Our rationale is straightforward. First, we have found that “homelessness” is more commonly understood in these terms across the globe, and that these types of homelessness are more prevalent across countries and continents than some of the other categories. Second, organizations and networks already exist to focus on slum dwellers, refugees, and internally displaced peoples.
How was this framework developed?
The lead authors for the framework are Professors Volker Busch-Geertsema, Dennis Culhane and Suzanne Fitzpatrick. They drew upon the 'European Typology of Homelessness and Housing Exclusion' (ETHOS) of FEANTSA and the European Observatory on Homelessness; work by Graham Tipple and Suzanne Speak; and research on homelessness in specific world contexts. This final version is the product of consultation with researchers and practitioners from nearly 30 countries across six continents.
What are the next steps for the IGH Framework?
IGH is developing toolkits to help those in-country to measure homelessness locally. These toolkits include questions aligned with the Framework that can be asked in the field to more precisely assess the numbers and types of people who lack access to minimally adequate housing.
Where can I learn more?
Visit www.ighomelessness.org for updates on this and other initiatives in support of an emerging global movement to end homelessness.