In 2019, a new strategic action plan for the homeless (2019-20) was launched aiming to promote their housing, institutionalisation of social care and participation in VET programmes.

Regarding VET, the main objective of the action plan is to promote the empowerment, training and employability of the homeless. It also aims to support the development of their personal, social and professional skills using employment support measures and training programmes. This can be achieved by:

  • integrating the homeless into active employment and training programmes according to their employability profile; they can enrol in a training programme developed by DFPM (Direção-Geral de Política do Mar) in partnership with For-Mar;
  • developing training projects for the homeless or for people at risk of becoming homeless in hospitality and tourism. This action aims to develop, in cooperation with local bodies responsible for social intervention, 1 000 hours of training in four schools of tourism located in Lisbon, Oporto, Coimbra and Faro (Turismo de Portugal schools). It also intends to develop a partnership project with the Portuguese hotel association (AHRESP) to promote their (re)-introduction to the labour market after training.

The action plan will be carried out at local level, setting up planning and intervention centres for the homeless (NPISA). Today, there are 19 NPISA across the country. IEFP employment centres will be the first contact points for the homeless, where their employment and training needs will be identified.

On 25 July 2019, the action plan 2019-20 was presented in a meeting of the inter-committee of the national strategy for the integration of homeless people (ENIPSSA). The Minister for Labour stated that this social phenomenon has a vast metropolitan concentration (Lisbon and Oporto) and that the state should not only focus on providing homes for the homeless, as this complex issue cannot be solved with a one-size-fits-all approach. He underlined that the network of institutions working with the homeless is fully adequate. The Secretary of State for Employment mentioned that this action plan aims at providing each individual with a personal employment plan.

Aiming to address this issue, Portugal introduced a national strategy in 2009. In 2018, a new boost was given to the strategy, after the responsible group for carrying out, monitoring and evaluating the national strategy (GIMAE) held a national inquiry which identified 3 396 people living without a home. 

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