A Város Mindenkié [The City is for All]
The members of The City is for All are people who are affected by housing poverty (currently or formerly living in homelessness, housed in structures constructed by themselves, living in deprived, insecure, overcrowded or unhealthy housing, threatened by eviction) and their allies (activists with secure housing), who all work together for housing rights and for an egalitarian and just society.
Our group is based on voluntary work and provides an opportunity for people experiencing homelessness and housing poverty to stand up for their dignity and fight for the right to housing. People experiencing homelessness and housing poverty play a leading role at all levels of our organization. The City is for All organizes campaigns and actions to defend housing rights, to advocate for the interests of people living in housing poverty and to change the negative social perception of homelessness and poverty. We use a wide array of modes of intervention from internal trainings to radical direct actions. As we fight against all forms of stigmatization and discrimination, it is very important for us to actively cooperate with other marginalized groups. The City is for All has two principal working groups. The Housing working group aims to call the attention of decision-makers and citizens to the consequences of the lack of a housing policy: public housing is scarce, the general condition of the existing housing stock is very poor and it is inaccessible for those who need affordable housing the most. There are many vacant housing units that could be turned into affordable housing – the working group also promotes such usage. The group is committed to codifying the right to housing and to disseminating the “Housing First” approach as an alternative to shelters. The Interest-ed working group aims to protect the rights and interests of homeless people living in social institutions or on the streets. We work in institutions dealing with homeless people so they can take an active part in making decisions about issues that affect them directly. To this end, we organize trainings for homeless advocates and social workers and we also work on community-building projects in institutions for the homeless. In order to protect the rights of people living in public spaces we published a know-your-rights booklet, which we have distributed to thousands of homeless people. The working group also fights against the unlawful evictions of shack-dwellers. Other working groups and core activities include: – Homeless Women’s Alliance (HaNEM) is a group exclusively for homeless women. Our goal is to empower homeless women, advocate for their interests and address their problems. We try to involve as many homeless women as possible, organize trainings for them and call the attention of the general public to their special situation and problems. – The City Is for All Academy provides an opportunity for continuous personal and professional development for our members. Our courses have included community organizing, history of social movement, speech delivery, conflict resolution, filmmaking, and mentoring. – In our StreetLawyer program lawyers volunteer to give homeless people free information and legal advice every week in one of the main squares of Budapest.