Spain

Homeless people and organizations denounce the obstacles to leaving homelessness

The 29th edition of the Homelessness Campaign has focused on the many barriers that homeless people face in getting out of homelessness and accessing social assistance.

Maria José Atienza-October 28, 2021-Reading time: 2 minutes
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Photo. Image of the march of homeless people held in Madrid.

The arrival of November and the cold weather once again brings the terrible situation of the homeless before our eyes. This year, with the slogan "No way out? Lost in a social protection system that does not protect".The associations and services participating in the Homeless Day in Madrid, which is coordinated by the FACIAM Network, have joined together to publicly present the Homelessness Campaign 2021.

Approximately 40,000 people in Spain are without a home in which to live. To this must be added 2,500,000 people in a situation of extreme vulnerability that exist today in our country as a result of the effects of the crisis.

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The press conference that Caritas has convened in Madrid to denounce this situation has counted with the testimonies of Carlos, who went from a good economic situation to live in his car or Maria Jesus, a homeless woman who came to a shelter after suffering a stroke, after having lived for years on the street and in hostels.

In addition to the insecurity and insalubrity of homelessness, the lives of these people add other obstacles, such as difficulties in accessing the health system, employment or decent housing, or administrative barriers to regularize their situation or access to a guaranteed income or other social services. Hence the slogan and image of this year's campaign, which depicts a person in a seemingly dead-end labyrinth.

Your requests: Effective policies and societal empathy

Organizations and people experiencing homelessness emphasize the need to make homelessness visible and to highlight the barriers they face in order to get out of this situation of social exclusion. They also denounce that the current system of social protection is not sufficient. In this sense, as pointed out by the head of the Homelessness Campaign in Cáritas Española, Enrique Domínguez, "more than 700,000 people accompanied by Cáritas do not have money to pay for housing or supplies, and 20% of the families assisted have been forced to change their homes". That is why he has asked to address the situation "strengthened public policies, adequate and focused on the most vulnerable people".

Likewise, both the organizations and the people who find themselves in this situation ask, once again, that citizens, in addition to knowing the reality of the homeless, show solidarity, empathize with them and unite their voices to demand justice and build a society where all people count.

Among the actions developed for this day, which is celebrated in the Spanish Church on October 31, on the morning of October 28 homeless people, accompanied by a large number of entities have gathered in a march from the Plaza de Callao to Puerta del Sol in Madrid where they have concentrated for the reading of a manifesto.Also, in social networks have been created the hashtags #DigamosBasta #NadieSinHogar #SinHogarSinSalida to follow the development of the day.

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