The economic and social crisis doubles the number of people who sleep on the street in the province of Alicante | Radio Alicante | Present

The entities and associations that work on the street with the homeless warn that they have doubled the number of assistances to this group in recent months, as a result of the serious economic and social consequences that the pandemic has left. Precisely, this Sunday is the World Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

From the Red Cross in Alicante, they explain that before the pandemic they served between 600 and 800 people throughout the province but that in this last year the figure reached more than 1,400 people. 1,150 of them are men and 300 women.

Sandra Zambrana, provincial head of the extreme vulnerability program of the Red Cross, explains that the NGO’s work consists of more than 100 volunteers and extends to more than 40 localities and municipalities with the highest rates of homelessness. He points out that a greater number of these people have been detected in mountain areas such as Alcoy, Villena or Sax, also in areas of the Marina Baixa such as Benidorm or in a good part of the Vega Baja. “We have localized sources and that is where we have to intervene.”

“There are different factors that lead people to this situation, you can have a complete life with your job, family and due to different external factors such as an economic crisis or a health crisis such as the pandemic, they push you into a situation of vulnerability, you cannot To live the life you led, many companies and businesses have had to close, and that has caused many people to not be able to assume the day-to-day expenses and housing or rent payments. They have been forced to not be able to pay and see themselves in the street “declares Zambrana.

He assures that the main demand is to cover the basic needs of food and hygiene, shelter kits to sleep on the street, and this year they have also provided sanitary products due to the pandemic. In addition to serving people who arrive at local assemblies, they have nine teams distributed throughout the province that go out to detect and care for these people, four day centers and a mobile center in Vega Baja.

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In the city of Alicante, the work of the associations that support the homeless has also doubled or even tripled. From Reacción Solidaria they assure that if before they made 80 bags with food and hot drinks, now they make 150 and 160.

Sol Fernández, coordinator of the association’s night outings, explains that lately all kinds of profiles are being found, from women who sleep on the street with their children, underage foreigners who when they turn 18 are expelled from reception centers or even people over 80 years old.

Most of them are located around the José Rico Pérez stadium and the Reception and Insertion Center, but there are many others scattered around ATMs, squares and sometimes on portals.

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He considers that the municipal shelter, where there is only room for 80 people and that they can only stay 15 days every 6 months, is “totally insufficient.” It also regrets that for three years, when the begging and prostitution ordinance was announced by the Alicante City Council, it has been acting in a more repressive manner against these people.

From the platform against Poverty, Exclusion and Social Inequality of Alicante, it points out that the pandemic has further hardened the living conditions of people who already had it complicated. Remember that the work of entities and NGOs should not cover or replace what is a competence of public administrations, which in Alicante, for example, “has been conspicuous by its absence.”

Its spokesperson, Kike Romá, demands that the Department of Social Action take a radical turn in its line of work and its social positioning and asks for more financial, material and human resources, decentralize the intervention, more social housing and strengthen the dialogue to facilitate the work of entities and NGOs.

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