Athens – Shelter for 400 homeless

To protect the vulnerable group of homeless people in the corona pandemic, Athens has created a shelter with more than 400 beds. The three-buildings complex of seven floors was opened in April and is run by the City of Athens’ Reception and Solidarity Center. It offers accommodation in dormitories as immediate help and apartments for a longer stay, along with free meals and psychosocial support.

Homeless people belong to the society’s more vulnerable groups. Studies show that homeless people usually have a burdened health, they face increased morbidity, their body is prematurely aged and this makes them more vulnerable to any threat. To protect them immediately and effectively, the new shelter for the homeless with the capacity to host more than 400 people was inaugurated on 7 April.

In just a few weeks, a three- building, 7-floor complex with apartments welcomed its first beneficiaries. The complex was fully renovated, thanks to the contribution of many sponsors. Each apartment has 2-3 rooms with shared kitchen (with fridge) and bathroom. Every room has a TV set, natural gas radiator and a ceiling fan. 

The complex’s first building is a dormitory, where every homeless can come and find a safe place to sleep, with the minimum of paperwork and bureaucracy. The other two buildings are hostels, hosting people on a more permanent base. There, the homeless have, apart from a place to live and free meals, all the psychosocial support they need for their reintegration in the labor market and the society.

At the basement of the complex, a Day Center will start running shortly. There, the city’s homeless will be able to find food, laundries to have their clothes washed, will be able to watch TV, surf the internet and eat something.

Doctors, social workers and psychologists are always present in all structures, offering those people the support and the care they need.

“Our effort is to support every single person in need and establish a solidarity net throughout our city”, says Grigoris Leon, president of the City of Athens’ Reception and Solidarity Center. “According to the official data on homelessness and the projections we have made, this facility will cover almost all recorded cases within the city.”

Contact: Dimitris Konstantopoulos

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