EMCDDA webinar — Responding to drugs and homelessness: innovative approaches in Europe

Objective: To explore innovative programmes providing solutions in the field of homelessness and drugs.

Background: The association between long-term homelessness, problem drug use and alcohol dependence is well documented. Evidence suggests that a relatively small, long-term and recurrently homeless population has a high prevalence of mental health problems and substance dependence. In the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic, there is much concern that the health and social wellbeing of members of this population will worsen. Addressing their diverse and complex needs is particularly important and requires targeted, sustained and joined-up interventions. This webinar will involve discussion with front line workers from three European countries — Belgium, Finland and Portugal — who have implemented solutions to address issues linked to homelessness among vulnerable populations, including people who use drugs. They will present the main innovations in this field as well as explore some of the major facilitators and barriers to successful implementation.


  • Cristiana Merendeiro Associação Crescer, Portugal
  • Geert De Bolle, Housing First Belgium-LAB, Belgium
  • Elina Liikanen, Y-Foundation, Finland

Chairpersons: Alessandra Bo, Marica Ferri, EMCDDA

Opening and closing remarks: Alexis Goosdeel, EMCDDA Director

Date and time: 3 February,12.00–13.30 Lisbon time (13.00–14.30 CET). Length: 1.5 hours.

Participants: The webinar is open to EMCDDA staff members, the Reitox network and external individuals. Participation is possible upon registration, after which the person will receive a link to connect.

Format: EMCDDA opening remarks, panellists’ questions and guided discussion, Q&A with attendees, EMCDDA closing remarks.

Panellists’ questions:

  • Briefly present your project focusing on a) relevance to people who use drugs, and b) recent innovations
  • Present the main barriers/facilitators associated with implementing your project
  •  If you asked your service user what would they say they most liked or disliked about the project?

Q&A with attendees

A recording of this webinar is available in our Media library >>