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Updated February 23. 2009

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Homeless in Europe Magazine
Winter 2008

Housing and Homelessness: models and practices from across Europe


This edition of Homeless in Europe seeks to add to the debate on Housing and Homelessness, further exploring some of the issues that were raised amongst participants at FEANTSA's annual conference in Cardiff, and giving more examples of current practices in different European countries.

Read more here

Download the magazine here




Newsletter of the European Network of Homeless Health Workers (ENHW)

Issue N°8 – Winter 2008


Download the issue here

Get older issues here



European Journal of Homelessness

Volume 2, December 2008


Effectiveness of Policies and Services for Homelessness

In 2007, the Observatory published its first European Journal of Homelessness. 


The Journal provides a critical analysis of policy and practice on homelessness in Europe. 


The aim is to stimulate debate on homelessness and housing exclusion at the European level and to facilitate the development of a stronger evidential base for policy development and innovation. 


See and download the individual articles of volume 2 of the journal here



Guidance on standards for the establishment and operation of drug consumption rooms in the UK.

- by Neil Hunt


This report provides essential guidance for local multi-agency partnerships that are contemplating establishing and operating a drug consumption room (DCR) in the UK.


The guidance helps to define minimum operational standards, identified within the original Report of the Independent Working Group on Drug Consumption Rooms (JRF 2006 - see below); and addresses international and domestic legal issues, including duty of care; examines the commissioning process, operational policies and procedures and monitoring and evaluation.


Read more here

Get the guideline here

Report of the Independent Working Group on Drug Consumption Rooms


This is a detailed examination of whether Drug Consumption Rooms (DCRs) should be introduced in the UK.


- reviews the UK policy context and how the idea of DCRs articulates with past and current drug policy;
- examines in detail the particular harms – to both users and communities – associated with injecting drug-use in the UK;
- looks at evidence of the effectiveness of DCRs and whether they might reduce the problems caused by drugs;
- considers a range of potential barriers and concerns, including legal issues, making a number of recommendations for the future.


The IWG concludes that DCRs offer a unique and promising way to work with the most problematic users – to reduce the risk of overdose, improve their health and lessen the costs to society – and recommends that pilot DCRs are set up and evaluated in the UK.


Read more, order the report and view the background papers here

Get the full report here

Get Summary report here


National Public Radio - USA

Casting A 'Safety Net' For The Homeless


In 1992, Dr. Jim Withers began making "house calls" under bridges in Pittsburgh, Pa. — sometimes dressing as a homeless person to help earn the trust of the truly homeless.


Other volunteers joined him, and out of their efforts grew Operation Safety Net, one of the nation's first full-time street medicine programs, Operation Safety Net.


Read more here and hear the interview

Read more about Operation Safety Net


Our cities, our health, our future

Report of the Knowledge Network on Urban Settings (KNUS) to the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health.


Bringing together the findings of the Knowledge Network on 14 aspects of urban health around the world today, the report explains the context, the challenges and the actions needed to improve public health in cities.


The report is enriched with photographs, case studies, charts and also included is a full bibliography and extensive background on the process followed by the KNUS over its two-year life, 2006-07.


Download the report here or here
Synopsis of the report can be downloaded 
here (12Mb!) 


Read more and access other reports here

Other reports and additional documents from WHO Knowledge Networks here

Vulnerable groups of young people

EMCDDA, Lisbon, November 2008


Social policy in Europe has long identified disadvantaged populations who manifest potential for social exclusion.


These ‘vulnerable groups’ are specific groups among the wider population that may be more prone to a range of problems, from ill health, substance use and poor diet, to lower educational achievement.

Groups of young people identified as vulnerable might be prone to earlier, more frequent, or more problematic drug use and might experience faster progression to problem drug use.


Read more here

Read the report here
EMCCDA website here

EMCDDA 2008 Annual report

The state of the drugs problem in Europe


The report on the state of the drugs problem in Europe presents the EMCDDA's yearly overview of the drug phenomenon.


This is an essential reference book for policymakers, specialists and practitioners in the drugs field or indeed anyone seeking the latest findings on drugs in Europe.


Published every autumn, the report contains non-confidential data supported by an extensive range of figures.


Read more here

Read the report here

EMCCDA website here

Global State of Harm Reduction 2008

It is over two decades since the first harm reduction projects started in Europe, Australia and North America.


Since the late 1980s, harm reduction has grown exponentially in terms of acceptance, coverage, popularity, implementation and scientific knowledge.


Harm reduction programmes currently operate in a wide variety of cultural, religious and political contexts, and the approach is supported by international organisations such as UNAIDS, UNICEF, WHO, UNODC and the World Bank.


This report aims to consolidate this growth by assessing and documenting the global state of harm reduction in 2008.


Read more here

Download report here


Harm Reduction.  What's in a Name

Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse


Harm reduction has become one of the most contentious issues in drug use policy.


The purpose of this paper is to examine the concept of "harm reduction" and to work towards an approach that seeks to bridge the gap between opposing philosophical positions so as to maximize the benefits of programs for drug users and minimize the harm created through misperceptions of what constitutes "harm reduction".


Policy makers and practitioners are urged to advance evidence-based programs, policies and interventions regardless of the label applied to them and to work towards implementing a comprehensive system of supports and services for dealing with substance abuse.

Download paper here

Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse



London Drug and Alcohol Network


The website aims to provide drugs professionals with the latest news and guidance from the British government about the drug strategy.


Visit the website here





SAMHSA Homelessness Resource Center

A new US website which aims to be an interactive community of providers, consumers, policymakers, researchers, and public agencies at federal, state, and local levels.
Sharing of state-of-the art knowledge and promising practices to prevent and end homelessness through:


•  Training and technical assistance.
•   Publications and materials.
•   On-line learning opportunities.
•   Networking and collaboration.


Visit the new website here




This portal has been set up by the social insurance authorities in the Nordic countries.


The gateway is directed at persons who move to/take up work or study in Nordic countries.


By going to the portal you can find the right authority in the right country and the contact links to the relevant authorities.


Read more here



FEANTSA Flash newsletter

November, 2008


The FEANTSA Flash newsletter brings you news from across Europe on issues related to housing and homelessness. News is gathered from our members, the European institutions, International Organisations and the European press.


The Newsletter can be found here

Older issues can be found here



European Network of Homeless Health Workers Newsletter Autumn 2008


The Issue No. 7, Autumn 2008 of the ENHW newsletter can be accessed here


Older issues can be found here


Autumn 2008 - The Right to Housing: The Way Forward


Homeless in Europe, is FEANTSA’s tri-annual magazine.


Access to adequate housing can be considered as being a precondition for the exercise of most other fundamental human rights.


Having a secure, adequate and affordable place to live is essential to the achievement of a decent standard of living and to the fulfilment of human life beyond simple survival.


This bumper edition looks at the issue of the right to housing from a number of perspectives and gives practical information on the legal frameworks which promote the right to housing.


Read more here

And get the issue here



FEANTSA Flash newsletter for September 2008

The Flash newsletter brings you news from across Europe on issues related to housing and homelessness


Read more here

Download  here



Closing the gap in a generation:

Health equity through action on the social determinants of health

Social justice is a matter of life and death. It affects the way people live, their consequent chance of illness, and their risk of premature death.


We watch in wonder as life expectancy and good health continue to increase in parts of the world and in alarm as they fail to improve in others.


Read more here including interview with Sir Michael Marmott

Get the report here
Executive summary in English here


Landmark report on HIV/AIDS

"Progress on implementing the Dublin Declaration on Partnership to Fight HIV/AIDS in Europe and Central Asia"

18 August 2008


A new report, written and reviewed by over 50 experts, describes progress in implementing the 2004 Dublin Declaration on Partnership to Fight HIV/AIDS in Europe and Central Asia.


It highlights countries’ successes and failures in delivering on their commitment to prevention and treatment.


Read more here

Download the report here



Treatment of HIV-infected adults with antiretroviral therapy (2008)


Since the 1990s, the British HIV Association has been producing guidelines for the management of HIV infection, which, while primarily intended for the use of UK physicians, have international influence.


The 2008 BHIVA Guidelines have been comprehensively revised and incorporate all peer-reviewed publications and important, potentially treatment-changing abstracts over the last 2 years.


The guidelines will be published in the BHIVA journal, HIV Medicine, in autumn 2008.


Read more and download the pre-press version of the guidelines on the Treatment of HIV-infected adults with antiretroviral therapy here



Health in prisons.

A WHO guide to the essentials in prison health


Edited by Lars Møller, Heino Stöver,

Ralf Jürgens, Alex Gatherer and Haik Nikogosian.


This guide outlines some of the steps prison systems should take to reduce the public health risks from compulsory detention and how evidence-based health services can be provided for everyone needing treatment, care and prevention in prison.


Other essential elements are
- awareness and acceptance of internationally recommended standards for prison health.
- provision of professional care with the same adherence to professional ethics as in other health services.
- promotion of a whole-prison approach to care.


Read more and order hard-copy here


Download as pdf here



EMCDDA's Best practice portal

A resource for professionals, policymakers and researchers in the areas of drug-related prevention, treatment, harm reduction and social reintegration.


The portal concentrates on illicit drugs and polydrug use and has a clear European focus. Its main aim is to provide tools and standards to improve the quality of interventions and highlight examples of best practice across Europe.


The portal presents an overview of:


Evidence of efficacy and effectiveness of different interventions.

Tools to improve interventions.

Examples of evaluated practices.

More information here


Drug and Alcohol Findings online


"FINDINGS" bridges the divide between research on the effectiveness of responses to drug and alcohol problems and the practitioners who provide those interventions, with a focus on UK-relevant research.


The projects aim was to encapsulate the studies' findings, set them in context and to explore the implications for practice.


From 1999 to 2006 the main output was the Drug and Alcohol Findings magazine. This has now been replaced by a free web-based service called the Effectiveness Bank.


Half of the originally published magazines are now online. Included is a series of thematic articles on important topics in drug and alcohol treatment. Find it all here.

FEANTSA Flash for March 2008


The Flash brings together news from across Europe on issues related to housing and homelessness.


Read the March edition here 

or download it as pdf here


Handbook for Health Technology Assessment


The Danish National Board of Healt has published an english version of it´s latest handbook.

The handbook is for all who takes part in planning and completion of Health Technology Assessment and it provides a guide in the process.


Read more here.

Download the handbook here.



FEANTSA Magazine Winter 2007:

Employment and Homelessness: An Opportunity and a Challenge

The Magazine "Homeless in Europe" is a tri-annual electronic publication.


Each issue deals with a particular theme that is topical in relation to homelessness across Europe.


The annual theme of FEANTSA was employment and homelessness. This collection of articles seeks to further explore some of the questions that were raised particularly at FEANTSA’s European Conference in Saragossa in October 2007 and to provide a more in-depth focus on those issues that FEANTSA members felt hadn’t been sufficiently addressed in the course of the annual theme.


View all issues here.


Get the Winter 2007 issue here.


Homepage of European Federation of National Organisations working with the Homeless here.



What Now? - Evaluation of a safe injection-room


A proposal to pilot a public injecting room was put before the Norwegian parliament (Stortinget) for the first time in 1999.


The idea went back and forth between different governments and parliaments. The Director General of Public Prosecutions warned legislators that before a supervised injecting room could be established, the law would have to be amended.


A provisional act sanctioning the pilot scheme was adopted by parliament (Drug Injection Rooms Act),25 together with a set of regulations in December of 2004. SIRUS was asked to evaluate the scheme.


Wiew the report and read the english summary here.



Evidence in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention


Quote: With this report, the National Board of Health wishes to provide an account of how evidence can be understood in the area of health promotion and disease prevention.

The report also emphasises the advantages – and importance – of applying an evidence-based approach to the planning of preventive and health promoting interventions in municipalities and regions.


Download the report here.



Risk factors and public health in Denmark

- Summary report


This publication is an English summary of a report, which presents a comprehensive, broad description and analysis of the impact of selected risk factors for public health in Denmark.


The publication addresses itself to everyone engaged in disease prevention and health promotion and who needs comprehensive documentation of the impact of the most predominant risk factors for the overall health status and costs to society.


19 risk factors and 18 measures for health and economic consequences were selected. The selection was made by the National Board of Health in co-operation with the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) on the basis of importance, public interest and availability of data.


The selected risk factors comprise lifestyle and biological and social conditions, and the Summary Report illustrates the impact of the risk factors on life expectancy, expected lifetime without long-standing illness, admissions to hospital, and costs to society.


Download the report here.



Alcohol misuse: tackling the UK epidemic

Recent years have seen increasing interest in the levels of alcohol misuse in the UK, and in particular the pattern of binge drinking and heavy drinking. It contributes to a range of acute and chronic health consequences, from alcohol poisoning and injuries resulting from traffic crashes to cancer and cardiovascular disease. The more an individual consumes, the greater the risk of harm.


Control requires the implementation of strategies that are effective at reducing overall alcohol consumption levels in a population, as well as targeted interventions aimed at specific populations such as young people or individuals who are dependant on alcohol.


This report considers the problematic levels of alcohol misuse in the UK and is not aimed at those who enjoy consuming alcohol in moderation. It examines the patterns and trends of alcohol consumption and goes on to review the range of adverse effects both on the individual and society that are associated with its misuse.


Read more here.

Download the report here.



New report from HR2

Unique in International Relations?: A Comparison of the International Narcotics Control Board and the UN Human Rights Treaty Bodies


The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) is serving as an independent body monitoring states’ implementation of their obligations under the international drug conventions.

This report compares the INCB’s structure, mandate, legal status, activities and working methods with those of the UN human rights treaty bodies.



Quotes from the report:

The INCB has claimed that it is ‘unique in international relations’, and has used this allegedly unique status to justify its exclusion of civil society from its deliberations and its closed meetings


It has, however, been criticised for being one of the most secretive bodies in the UN system.


The INCB’s ‘uniqueness’ stems not from its mandate, its activities or its legal status, but instead from the working methods the Board has adopted, methods that are out of step with those of similarly constituted UN bodies which have chosen to operate via open and inclusive processes.


Download the report here.



In 2007, IHRA established HR2, the Harm Reduction and Human Rights Monitoring and Policy Analysis Programme.

Read more here.



International Harm Reduction Association (IHRA) is dedicated to promote evidence based harm reduction policies and practices on for all psychoactive substances.



Summer Institute on Alcohol, Drugs and Addiction

Courses, seminars and dialogues in Amsterdam on theories and concepts as they have been developed in the field of addiction studies.


The Summer Institute on Addiction is an intensive two week summer programme, which focuses on the study of addiction across cultures and is taught by an international faculty team.


The Summer Institute seeks to provide an interdisciplinary approach to the study of addiction and to promote opportunities for international networking among participants.


Professionals have the option to attend either one or both weeks.

The Institute welcomes individuals with a focused interest in addiction research and treatment, Master's and PhD students, NGO staff working on addiction-related issues, professionals in human services, practitioners, advocates and participants in other International School programmes.


More info here.



Whither EU Social Policy? An Account and Assessment of Developments in the Lisbon Social Inclusion Process

Journal of Social Policy, 37, 1, 1-19, 2007


Excerpt of the abstract:
This article examines recent EU social policy, following the course of the Lisbon strategy since it got underway in 2000. Focusing on the social inclusion process, the aim is to identify development over time, to review progress critically and to offer some explanation for events.

A conclusion drawn is that, while social exclusion has provided an innovative focus within an EU context, the process as a whole is timid and key elements are weak.

A key conclusion is that with survival under threat, the need to continually reinvent itself may actually be the death knell of the social process.


Download the article free of charge

Visit the Journal of Social Policy



European Parliament Written Declaration on ending street homelessness

A cross-party written declaration on ending street homelessness has been registered last December by MEPs Mary Lou MacDonald (GUE/NGL, Ireland) Claude Moraes (PES, United Kingdom), Jacek Protasiewicz (EPP-ED, Poland), Gérard Onesta (Greens/EFA, France) and Jean-Marie Beaupuy (ALDE, France).


It calls: 

·  on the Council to agree on an EU-wide commitment to end street homelessness by 2015;

·  on the Commission to develop a European framework definition of homelessness, gather comparable and reliable statistical data, and provide annual updates on action taken and progress made in EU Member States towards ending homelessness;

·  urges Member States to devise ‘winter emergency plans’ as part of a wider homelessness strategy.


To access the declaration page click here.



New additions to FreeBooks4Doctors!


FreeBooks4Doctors is dedicated to the promotion of free access to medical books over the Internet.


Two comprehensive volumes has been updated lately.


HIV Medicine 2007

Christian Hoffmann, Jürgen Rockstroh, and Bernd Sebastian Kamps (Editors)
Flying Publisher, 2007
818 pp

Download it here


Tuberculosis 2007
From basic science to patient care

Juan Carlos Palomino, Sylvia Leão, Viviana Ritacco, et al.
687 pp
Download it here


2007 Annual report on the state of the drugs problem in Europe

The report on the state of the drugs problem in Europe presents the EMCCDA´s yearly review of the drug phenomenon.

Thi is an essential reference book for policy-makers specialists and practitioners in the drugs field or indded anyone seeking the latest findings on drugs in Europe.


Download the report here



National reports on the state of the drugs problem 2000 - 2006

Commissioned by the EMCCDA and produced by the National focal points of the Reitox network, the National reports draw an overall picture of the drug phenomenon at national level in each EU Member state. 
Download the single national reports for 2007 and earlier, at the EMCDDA website, here.