On Wednesday 26 October 2022, the first census of homeless people took place in the city of Luxembourg. The action was carried out on the initiative of the Ministry of Family Affairs, Integration and the Greater Region and was organized and coordinated locally by Inter-Actions.
"The Ministry not only wants to have a better idea of the number of homeless people living in Luxembourg, but also to know better their backgrounds and needs in order to be able to help as efficiently as possible," explains Corinne Cahen, Minister for Family and Integration.
The first census took place on the 26 October 2022 from 5 pm to midnight in all districts of Luxembourg City. 66 social sector professionals were divided into 32 teams that walked the streets of the 24 city districts. Equipped with short, concise questionnaires, they approached homeless people to get to know them better and listen to their needs. "We identified people belonging to the European 'Ethos 1' and 'Ethos 2' categories, i.e. people living in public spaces, on the street or in emergency shelters," explains Edvard Skrijelj, director of Inter-Actions.
197 people were counted, 142 on the street, 38 in emergency shelters (night halts) and 17 in hospitals. "Of these 197 people, 169 were men and 28 were women. The average age of the persons encountered was 42 years. 24% of the persons encountered have Luxembourgish origin, 58% have been living on the street for more than one year. The vast majority (82%) have access to social care or assistance," explains Edvard Skrijelj.
"As I participated in the census, I noticed that the profiles of the homeless are very diverse. Therefore, there is no 'one size fits all' measure for the care, but we have to act on a case-by-case basis," explains Corinne Cahen.
The results of this first census will be used as benchmark for the next editions, planned for May and December 2023 in Luxembourg City and potentially in other interested municipalities.
Founded in 1979, Inter-Actions ASBL aims to promote, coordinate and organize social, educational or cultural actions in the interest of disadvantaged regions or groups of people. The Ministry of Family Affairs, Integration and the Greater Region has signed conventions with several of its services, including the "Suivi financier et social", the "Service surendettement et suivi social", "Coup de Pouce" and the "Premier Appel". The latter coordinated and implemented the census of the homeless people, drawing on its expertise in the field. In fact, the Premier Appel operates seven days a week from 5 pm to 10 pm for homeless people living on the streets of Luxembourg. The service aims to satisfy their basic needs (food, drink, and transport to emergency hospital services or to the 'Wanteraktioun') and refers those who request it to specialized services.
Released by the Ministry of Family Affairs, Integration and the Greater Region
 Social workers from the following organisations and associations participated in the survey: Ministry of Family Affairs, Integration and the Grande Région, Inter-Actions, Caritas Luxembourg, Croix-Rouge luxembourgeoise, Jugend- an Drogenhëllef, CNDS (Abrigado), Arcus (Quai 57), Stëmm vun der Strooss
 Ethos (European Typology on Homelessness and Housing Exclusion) Typology of the European Federation of National Associations Working with the Homeless (FEANTSA).