projekt UDENFOR: Homeless Reforms to Abolish Youth Homelessness


Possible sanctioning of local authorities and rebellion against placement in hostels is to get young people out of homelessness. Such is the appeal to the politicians from the homeless organisation projekt UDENFOR who has formulated a number of suggestions for a homeless reform.

The local authorities are to be sanctioned if they do not formulate action plans for young socially vulnerable people, psychologist treatment for young vulnerable people is to be increased, and referral to hostels is to be replaced by sojourns at folk high school and actual housing. In addition, public and private companies should be included in the social work in order to offer differentiated and alternative jobs to young vulnerable and homeless people. Such are a number of suggestions for a homeless reform from the homeless organisation projekt UDENFOR, advocating that it is time that especially the local authorities find alternatives in the social work.

”As it is today, the vulnerable young people are not lend a helping hand when challenged by life. You just give them an address for a hostel and impose them with a clarification course and compulsory attendance at the country’s job centres. Instead it should be considered whether the local authorities should not be sanctioned, if they are not, in cooperation with the individual young person, able to come up with humane, individual and diverse action plans, paving the way for possibilities instead of sanctions,” says Ninna Hoegh, the director of the homeless organisation projekt UDENFOR.

She points out that only 23 percent of the homeless youth actually have set up an action plan with the local council.

”In our opinion, an action plan must ensure that the paths of a young person ever cross a hostel. With a tool such as an action plan, it should be expected that it is possible for the local authorities to offer young vulnerable people a lengthy sojourn at a folk high school with mentors or a space in a housing community focusing on employment and support,” Ninna Hoegh suggests.

She also points out that too many young people on the edge of society generally feel left out.

”The requirements of managing oneself within education and employment are continually increasing. You could talk about an elimination race where the space for those who stand out is becoming more and more tight, leading to further socially marginalization and isolation. We therefore need to pave the way for other kinds of education and employment being socially acceptable and valuable than the conventional,” says Ninna Hoegh.

She suggests that public and private companies contributes to the inclusion of the vulnerable young people through alternative and differentiated initiatives of education and employment.

Since 2009, the number of young homeless people has increased significantly. In 2013, the number of homeless youth between 18 and 29 had reached 1.755, which, according to projekt UDENFOR, only points in one direction.

Ninna Hoegh concludes, ”what the local authorities are doing, and have done in the past, simply does not work.” She hopes to be able to inspire politicians to a serious commitment to abolishing the homelessness of young people.

In the autumn of 2014, projekt UDENFOR started a 2,5 year ad hoc project ”The Youth Project”, working with people who experience homelessness at a very young age.


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