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National partner profile: Croatia

Croatian Homeless Network

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The Croatian Homeless Team is a project run by the Croatian Homeless Network, which works in coordination with many homeless shelters across Croatia. The Croatian Homeless Network is a platform that connects and coordinates all organisations and working for the improved situation of homeless people.

The Croatian Homeless Team project draws a lot of media interest and therefore raises awareness of homelessness in Croatia. They stand for the right to dignity and social inclusion, and achieve these goals through the positive influence of sports.

Team Croatia has been selected and trained by their national ambassador, former player and former coach of the Croatian national team and current assistant coach with Turkish Beşiktaş J.K., Nikola Jurčević.

The preparation and selection tournaments for the Croatian Homeless Team are organised twice a year, together with 10 other tournaments on a national or regional basis. The team also takes part in different international tournaments, particularly in the neighbouring countries Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

An average of 30 homeless, socially at risk, or excluded people per year participate in the Team Croatia preparation and trial phase. They are mainly men under the age of 50. In addition to a comprehensive football programme, the project offers them access to necessary psychological support and help with planning and implementing life-changing goals.

Player profiles & Stories

Mission statement

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Croatian Homeless Network work to connect all Croatian individuals, organisations, and associations that are interested in working for the benefit and care of homeless people and similarly socially excluded groups.

They aim to promote the rights of homeless people, and to establish a permanent forum for defending their rights.

Goals for the future

Tournaments

To organise tournaments and promotional matches and to take part in national and international tournaments

Partnerships

To build strong relationships with sponsors and ambassadors

Additional information

Partner since

2009

Football Activities

More than 12 tournaments every year, preparation for the Croatian Homeless Team and selection tournaments, promotional matches

Team selection

Through the selection tournaments that take place twice a year

Non-football services

Networking, advocacy, organised consultancy, psychological support, research, organisation of seminars

Participants challenges

Social exclusion

Country challenges

There are a range of unique factors affecting Croatia’s social fabric. The transition to capitalism resulted in a low percentage of GDP being allocated for social services and vulnerable groups, while the unresolved issues from the Independence War and the break-up of Yugoslavia still impact the quality of life of some ethnic minorities and immigrants from former Yugoslav countries (FEANTSA, 2008).

Homlessness definition

A person without residence or means to address housing needs, temporarily living in a shelter, or residing in public places unfit for habitation (Croatian Social Welfare Act, 2012).

Homelessness Statistics

Croatian Homeless Network reports that there are around 10,000 homeless people in Croatia. According to UNHCR (2015), there are almost 3,000 stateless (not necessarily homeless) persons in Croatia, and almost 20,000 people who constitute a population of concern and are socially vulnerable (such as refugees and asylum seekers).

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