In October 2020, based on the Norwegian and Danish methodology of national homelessness counts, four local homelessness counts, in four Belgian cities (Leuven, Gent, Liège, Arlons) and one province (Limburg) were conducted. This presentation outlines the methodology and the main results of the local counts of Leuven, Ghent and Limburg. Central to the methodology was the operationalisation of the ETHOS light typology of homelessness and the cooperation of a broad array of social services to administer a questionnaire. Key findings show the prevalence of temporary stays with friends, undocumented migrants, and young people from a non-care background. These local counts are also used as a leverage to challenge the regional and national authorities to collect homelessness figures more regularly. In the last part of the presentation, the limitations of these types of counts are discussed.
Speaker: Prof. dr. Koen Hermans, KU Leuven.
Koen is a Project Leader at LUCAS, Centre for Care Research and Consultancy, KU Leuven. He is also Assistant Professor ‘Social Policy and Social Work’ at the Centre for Sociological Research, KU Leuven. His research focuses on homelessness, the care and support of vulnerable groups and social work theories. He is the chair of the COST Action 15218 ‘Measuring homelessness in Europe (2016-2020) and the Treasurer of the European Social Work Research Association.