WEB OF THE STREET 2020 Thank you all for your participation in the International Digital Forum of Social Street Workers
The International Digital Forum of Social Streetworkers permitted a better understanding of damages due to the pandemic on precarious people. During the press conference ending the week of debates, Edwin de Boevé, head of Dynamo International, enunciated a range of recommendations made by network members and intended for public authorities.
Nearly 800 people from 53 states around the world took part to the International Digital Forum of Social Streetworkers, « Web of the Street », to tell their experiences on that topic and share good practices in these troubled times. The main observation is sadly familiar: we are not equal to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The story of an homeless witnesses this fact: worried about closing stores and empty streets, he learned from a social streetworker the existence of the pandemic, 15 days after the start of the sanitary confinement.
The pandemic underlines the problems linked to poverty, exclusion and discrimination. Everywhere repression and especially stigmatization of populations in street situations are accentuated. In that crisis, young people from 18 to 25 are particularly vulnerable. Testimonies on that aspect are numerous. At the four corners of the planisphere, lack of opportunities for young generations is demoralizing at best when not fatal. The mental health, omnipresent topic during the international forum, worries and alerts a lot the community of social streetworkers.
To those dark observations, some positive effects of the pandemic must be underline. Of course, the solidarity between citizens, young and less young, but also the collaboration between authorities and social streetworkers known for their work. Several cities, when the first wave of the pandemic occurs, took action fastly to house homeless. Nevertheless, we are wondering legitimaly how long those actions will last. What will be the situation after the crisis? Can we hope that the struggle against the homelessliness won’t be neglected anymore after the end of the crisis? « Fitghting the homelessliness, as Edwin de Boevé said, it is when we can offer a longlasting house, not an emergency bed but a longlasting house and an adequate support. »
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