There is no universally accepted definition of homelessness. According to the European Typology on Homelessness and Housing Exclusion (ETHOS) the term includes following dimensions.

  • Rooflessness (people living rough and people in emergency accommodation);
  • Houselessness (people in accommodation for the homeless, in women’s shelters, in accommodation for migrants, people due to be released from institutions and people receiving long-term support due to homelessness);
  • Living in insecure housing (people living in insecure tenancies, under threat of eviction or violence);
  • Living in inadequate housing (living in unfit housing, non-conventional dwellings or in situations of extreme overcrowding) (Source: FEANTSA)

In Europe around 4.1 million people are exposed to be roofless or houseless each year for a shorter or longer period. Information on homelessness in Europe are provided on the website of FEANTSA –  The European Federation of National Organizations Working with the Homeless.