Enhancing European Social and healthcare services for homeless people: A Discussion Paper

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This paper explores evidence on effective delivery of health, mental health, addiction, and social (care) services 2 for people experiencing homeless- ness in Europe. The paper draws on a rapid evidence review conducted for a Mutual Learning Event in support of the European Platform on Combatting Homelessness in 2023. An overview of treatment, care, and support needs among people experiencing homelessness is followed by discussion of the barriers to mainstream services. The paper then considers the evidence on existing health and social services practice in relation to homelessness. It is argued that the case for creating integrated systems and strategies that fully incorporate health and social services working alongside homelessness and other services is becoming ever stronger in relation to both preventing and reducing homelessness. It is only through integrated housing-led/Housing First strategy, (with full collaboration among homelessness prevention and reduction services, housing providers, health, mental health, addiction, and social services, alongside criminal justice, welfare, and other relevant systems) that European homelessness can be effectively prevented and reduced. However, each EU Member State has variable resources and faces different challenges, so there is a need for guidance and support that has the ability to effectively support integrated homelessness strategies in different European contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-58
Number of pages25
JournalEuropean Journal of Homelessness
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2024


  • Homelessness
  • health
  • mental health
  • addiction
  • inequality

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