Vincentians keep bringing the voices of homeless people to the United Nations despite the pandemic. The UN NGO Working Group to End Homelessness (WGEH) organised the side event “Homes First: Strategies to Promote Youth Empowerment Post Covid-19” during the ECOSOC Youth Forum last week. You can watch the video here:

Homes First Strategies to Promote Youth Empowerment Post COVID-19-20210406 1301-1 from VCCS on Vimeo.

During the event, our Project Development Manager, Yasmine Cajuste, introduced the Famvin Homeless Alliance and the “13 Houses” Campaign and presented two beneficiaries from two very different 13 Houses projects: Dennis Long’or (Kenya) and Carolyn Love (USA).

Dennis is a beneficiary of the “Upendo” project in Kitale, Kenya. Thanks to this initiative promoted by the Daughters of Charity and other local organisations, he is now training in catering and leaving life on the streets behind. Carolyn has graduated in Bussiness Management from DePaul University in Chicago and was supported by Depaul USA Dax Programme, which tackles homelessness among college students. Students from Niagara University also presented their research on youth homelessness.

Thank to Vincentian advocacy the United Nations adopted the first resolution defining homelessness last year. The resolution incorporates all the key categories of homelessness from the Framework of our partner the Institute of Global Homelessness. The resolution includes a formal written encouragement for Member States to harmonise measurement and collection of data on homelessness. The Resolution strengthens the role of the UN Statistical Commission and emphasises “the need to make concerted efforts to identify people experiencing homelessness”.