The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America took part in the United Nations’ 58th session of the Commission for Social Development held earlier this month in New York focusing on affordable housing and social protection systems to address homelessness.
Meanwhile, the archdiocese’s department of inter-Orthodox, Ecumenical and interfaith relations held a side event on the so-called Housing First policy, which focuses on getting people into housing, regardless of mental illness or substance abuse problems that can be treated once accommodation has been secured.
The policy, which has been adopted in many countries around the globe, was said to be founded by Dr. Sam Tsemberis, a Greek-Canadian-American in New York.
The event, titled “Building a Housing First approach and implementing inclusive best practices,” was co-sponsored by the permanent mission of Finland to the UN and UNANIMA International.
It is estimated that more than 1.6 billion people worldwide live in substandard housing. Of those, at least 150 million have no home at all.