05.02.2020

New support for homeless and excluded people in Switzerland

Homeless or without a fixed address, these people are excluded, suffer from isolation and face many health problems. We are accepting donations and launching an appeal for projects to give these people back their place in Swiss society.

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The most severe form of poverty in Switzerland

Forced to sleep on the street because they no longer have a home, a place they can go to recover from the bustle and stress or simply to rest—this is what it means to be homeless. Even though homelessness is considered the most serious form of poverty in Switzerland, there are still no national statistics describing the extent of the phenomenon. However, according to emergency shelter counts, the number of people with no access to housing is on the rise. But these figures only provide a snapshot, not the whole picture. They don’t offer any information on people living in temporary rentals, substandard housing, or unsuitable places such as cars or campsites.

Homelessness is very rarely voluntary

According to the first-ever in-depth study on homeless people in Basel conducted by the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Northwestern Switzerland*, becoming homeless or finding yourself with no fixed address is very rarely voluntary. Of all the participants interviewed, only three had chosen to live without a roof over their heads. According to the same study, the main factor that leads a person to become homeless is loss of employment.

Health problems, relationship troubles and Switzerland’s housing market are just a few of the factors that aggravate the situation and have the potential to prolong it. Undocumented migrants, asylum seekers and people suffering from psychological problems also face the risk of having to live on the streets. One of our priorities is therefore to analyse these people’s specific needs in order to respond appropriately.

*Obdachlosigkeit, Wohnungslosigkeit und prekäres Wohnen Ausmass, Profil und Bedarf in der Region Basel, Matthias Drilling, Jörg Dittmann, Tobias Bischoff

"Since its beginnings, Swiss Solidarity has been committed to helping people in need in Switzerland, whether in response to natural disasters or individual precarious circumstances. More recently, we expanded our assistance to include youth in crisis and child victims of family violence. Today it is essential for us to be able to give those who live on the streets or in substandard housing a chance again to find their proper place in Swiss society. This is why we fund quality projects".
Fabienne Vermeulen, Head of Assistance in Switzerland at Swiss Solidarity

A proper place in society thanks to you

By collecting donations and launching a call for projects, we are seeking first and foremost to raise public awareness about this elephant in the room, a subject that nevertheless represents a dramatic reality in Switzerland. We now have funds available that will enable us to support the first projects. To sustain our action over the long term, we are calling on your solidarity to help us fund concrete actions such as:

  • Providing housing, including emergency accommodation and innovative solutions such as “tiny houses” (construction of temporary houses)
  • Providing basic necessities for sleeping and eating, lockers and healthcare
  • Organising activities to help homeless and excluded people to find their place in society
  • Carrying out street social work—reaching out to those who do not make use of aid structures
  • Providing legal support and guidance for homeless people so that their voices can be heard

Together, we want to enable those who are isolated and vulnerable to be seen and have a real place in our society. Thank you, because your donation will make a difference in these people’s lives.