The official symbol of the Homeless Day is the Homeless Flag
On Homeless International Day, we want the world to consider the situation of homeless people, not just in their own city, but all around the world. A world where everyone has a roof over their head is a better world for everyone, and there is enough money in the world to make this possible.
Perhaps you have an idea of how you, your business or your organization can contribute to help the homeless? Please contact us and we’ll have a meeting. We are always open to new ideas, solutions and cooperations and we would love your help in any way you can contribute.
See you on Homeless International Day!
Why a Homeless Day?
We believe that in a global perspective, homeless people and their situation is not recognized enough.
A lot of human rights have their own dedicated awards and special days, but up until a few years ago none of these had focused directly on the ever increasing number of homeless people around the world.
How many people are homeless?
According to Yale University, it is estimated that there are around 150 million homeless people around the world. That’s two percent of the world’s population. In Sweden, the estimated number of homeless people is 36,000, which serves as proof that homelessness is a problem for wealthy nations as well as poor.
Homelessness is largely an urban problem. For the last hundred years, billions of people have moved from the countryside into the world’s cities to look for work and shelter, and some people argue that homelessness is a problem that can never be solved, since the cities can never build enough housing for everyone.
Homelessness can have many causes
A lot of people seem to think that being homeless is the result of a series of bad choices. He or she chose to start using drugs, he or she didn’t want to work etc. In reality, this is rarely the case. Most of the homeless people you see in the streets have once lead normal lives. They’ve had ordinary jobs, a family, friends and a bright future.
But things happen. Someone gets sick, someone experiences the loss of someone close to them. For various reasons, people break down from time to time, and can’t cope with day-to-day life. Most of the time, they get help from loved ones, or from society. But some people don’t, or the help they’re given is not enough. Being in a downward spiral is tough, especially when you are weak and vulnerable. Some people end up in the street, where they are looked upon by the rest of us as somebody who has him- or herself to blame. This is a terrible situation, and a lot of people look to drugs and alcohol to ease the pain, which of course makes the situation even worse.
To raise awareness of homelessness globally, the non-profit organization Hemlösa.se have declared January 20 to be the Homeless International Day. They have also initiated the Homeless Hero prize, which is given every year to persons and organizations who have worked to improve the situation of homeless people in one way or another.
The Homeless Day and the Homeless Hero prize are meant to raise awareness and to acknowledge the situation of homeless people, and also to encourage those who help the homeless to keep up their important work.
The celebration of the Homeless Day started in 2013 by Hemlösa.se. The award ceremony takes place every year on the 20th of January.
At the 2017 ceremony, no less than three people and one organization were awarded the Homeless Hero prize.