Homelessness of foreigners increases in the Algarve capital as the situation grows
The coordinator of the Center for Planning and Intervention of Homeless (NIPSA) in Faro, Vanda Balaia, announced today that he number of homeless people is increasing, with a “significant increase in foreigners” in this situation over the last few months within the municipality.
According to Vanda Balaia, in 2020, 104 social processes were registered in the database, 74 of which were filed between January and April and 30 between May and September – and 62 cases are currently being monitored in the municipality.
Speaking to Lusa on the sidelines of the signing of a protocol, the official explained that, even though there are 104 open cases, this “does not mean that these people are still all in the municipality”, as it is a population that “moves a lot between municipalities”.
The increase in foreign homelessness in Faro is a relatively recent phenomenon – since, until now, most of this population in the municipality was of Portuguese nationality – being people who normally have mental disorders or a history of consumption, she added.
According to Vanda Balaia, the impact of the covid-19 pandemic is already being felt in the increase in the number of homeless people in the area, with the majority already asking for support from local institutions.
However, one of the biggest constraints, not only in the city, but also in the district of Faro, is the “lack of response in terms of accommodation” and the fact that the rental market is “inflated” in response to this need.
In Faro, the homeless are mostly men, single, aged between 30 and 50 years old, the majority of whom are Portuguese nationals from other parts of the country.
Most of them stay overnight in abandoned houses and present alcoholism, drug addiction, unemployment or financial and family problems as a reason for being homeless.
The terms of the partnership protocol of Faro’s NPISA, which involves the municipality and 16 social partners, were updated today following a review of the National Strategy for the Integration of People in Homeless Situations by 2023.
The nucleus, created in 2010 and coordinated by the municipality, aims to promote conditions of autonomy and full exercise of citizenship by the homeless population.
According to a survey carried out until April this year, the municipality of Faro had 83 homeless people, the majority homeless (74), 11 of whom lived in public space and 63 in a precarious location.
In the same survey, nine people were identified in the municipality who were homeless and in temporary accommodation.
Last June it was announced that Faro would have an emergency accommodation center with the capacity to accommodate up to 49 people in a precarious situation, in what will be the first facility of its kind in the Algarve.
The center, which will be installed in a building provided by the Ministry of Agriculture, in Braciais, on the outskirts of Faro, will have 30 places for emergency accommodation, 20 of which are intended for temporary accommodation, for a period of three months, and a capacity maximum total to accommodate 49 people.
The AIDS Support Movement (MAPS) is the entity responsible for the structure’s project, which aims to welcome people and families in situations of precariousness, namely, homelessness, unemployment, evictions or loss of income.
Original article available in Portuguese at http://postal.pt/