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FRDB Fondazione Rodolfo Debenedetti

First Census of Homeless in Milan

14 January 2009

Project Description

The first census on homeless in Milan, unique in all Europe, has been recently ended.

It has been conceived and organised by Michela Braga e Lucia Corno, PhD Students in Economics at Bocconi University, and it has the aim to collect quantitative and qualitative data - thanks to the hundreds of interviews carried out by volunteers - useful for the scientific community to further researchs on this phenomena and to policy makers to elaborate long term effective policies.

The research project has been financed by ERE, Empirical Research in Economics (it won a scholarship in memory of Professor Riccardo Faini) and by  the Rodolfo de Benedetti Foundation. The organizers also thank for their collaboration about 320 volunteers and many associations operanting in Milan: Croce Rossa Italiana (for providing logistic support and its volonteers), Caritas, Opera Cardinal Ferrari, all the shelters in Milan).

Preliminary Results

The census refers to a broad definition of homeless: all individuals having slept outside in the night of January 14th 2008.


In only one night the two researchers found:

  • On the street - about 400 people
  • In shelters - 1152 people
  • In disused areas, favelas, shacks- about 3300 people (including kids)*

In the following days about 34% of them have been interviewed, thanks to the collaboration of about 320 volunteers.

* Note: Only half of the existing disused areas, favelas and nomad camps has been visited by the interviewers. Weights will be used in order to extend results to the total population.

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