March 29, 2019

Homelessness: A prominent Sign of Social Inequalities

As a member of the United Nations NGO Working Group to End Homelessness (WGEH), Mercy Global Action helped organize a side event titled “Homelessness: A prominent Sign of Social inequalities”, which took place on 11 February during the 57th Commission on Social Development (CSocD57). In his opening remarks, Ambassador Brian Flynn, the deputy permanent representative of Ireland to the U.N., stated that “homelessness is one of the most visible and egregious signs of inequality” and it “touches every country, every city.” Ms. Nan. Roman, President of the US National Alliance to End Homelessness, spotlighted how marginalised communities in the United States, including racial minorities and individuals with disabilities, are at a greater risk for becoming homeless.

Julieta Perucca, the senior aide for the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Housing, underscored that “homelessness is a gross violation of human rights” and therefore requires a human rights-based response that recognises individuals in situations of homelessness as right holders with agency, who must be at the center of solutions to homelessness. The most moving part of the event was when Iris Bailey, who represented Life Experience and Faith Sharing Associates (LEFSA) shared her personal experience of being stripped of her identity and dignity when she entered a homeless shelter in New York City. LEFSA helped connect Iris to resources and helped her move out of the shelter, which enabled her to reclaim her identity and dignity. Iris stressed the need for investment into affordable housing stating, "We need to stop building luxury buildings. We need affordable housing."

Messages to: Angela Reed rsm - MIA-MGA Coordinator

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