Map of the problems related to homelessness
The result of the first meeting of the Commission of Experts for Counteracting Homelessness is to prepare "a map of the problems related to homelessness", which has enabled initial determination of the main areas of the Commission's interest and activities. This map has been prepared on the basis of the problems presented by all the members of the Commission, as well as on the basis of the priorities set by the Commissioner with regard to homelessness, which are:
- creating an identification system for causes of homelessness – in order to accordingly adjust the activities carried out by the state,
- coordination the government policy with regard to counteracting homelessness,
- supervision over social aid standards for the homeless people,
- role of the local government units in creating individual problems related to solving the problem of homelessness,
- support for the so-called controlled apartments or hostels,
- living standards in the so-called temporary rooms.
The prepared "map of the problems" outlined the following fields of operation of the Commission of Experts during the entire term of office of the present Commissioner:
- current problems resulting from legal regulations, hindering implementation of tasks by social organisations granting assistance for homeless people (among others, no possibility to adapt the existing institutions to new technical standards, ban on accepting by night shelters and hostels people who are sick or under the influence of alcohol or psychoactive substances, no indicated sources of financing and no evaluated financial effects of new solutions, no uniform standard of conducting community interview, problem with access to assistance provided under food banks or directly by social organisations);
- effectively counteracting homelessness (among others, no coordination between the different government departments, no coordination between the communal bodies, functioning of individual programmes related to solving the problem of homelessness, the issue of linking access to social and housing assistance with registered residence, specification of causes for homelessness);
- housing law (among others, assessment of efficiency of financial support for communes on the part of the state under the provisions of the Act of 8.12.2006 on financial support of creating social housing, supervised apartments, night shelters and homeless shelters, assessment of the local law – communal resolutions determining the principles of providing housing assistance – drawing up the "black list of provisions" inconsistent with the law, discriminating homeless people with regard to housing assistance, other methods of acquiring apartments ("supported apartments", functioning of social rental agency), review of the binding legal system in terms of the regulations inconsistent with the system assumptions as to counteracting homelessness (regulations generating homelessness, hindering reduction in homelessness);
- other long-term tasks to be systematically implemented throughout the nearest years (among others, monitoring of the access to free legal assistance provided for homeless people under the provisions of the Act of 5 August 2015 on free legal assistance and legal education, possibility to apply the new regulations on consumer bankruptcy, assistance in changing social perception of a homeless person, combating the myth of "people homeless by choice").