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Coordinator of the national strategy admits that there are new profiles of homeless people, especially migrants

The coordinator of the National Strategy for the Homeless admitted that in 2022 there were new profiles of homeless people in Portugal, related to groups of immigrants, that is, linked to seasonal work.

“Based, not on the data we collected, but only on the evidence we have in the monitoring of the local teams, it seems to us that yes, that there were, at very specific moments and in very conjunctural situations, groups of migrants who, for different reasons, they were temporarily left without housing, without accommodation”, Henrique Joaquim told Lusa, on the sidelines of the Porto Social Forum 2023, which takes place in the city until Saturday.

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The coordinator of the National Strategy for the Homeless in Portugal 2017-2023 was referring specifically to the phenomenon of people who come in groups, en masse, to work in Portugal and who “very suddenly” are left without seasonal work and end up being in a “very vulnerable situation”.

Despite acknowledging that “more groups of migrants have appeared,” the official He stressed that “there were immediate responses”, which were “very proactive”.

“This work has also been done so that people do not become homeless for more than 24 hours,” he said. Henrique Joaquim distinguished these groups from the traditional profile of homeless people.

“We are talking about very cyclical situations. We are talking about phenomena linked to agricultureor from time to time also linked to countries with very specific origins, as happened in the winter with the movement of Timorese citizens, materialized.

Henrique Joaquim explained, however, that these situations were being worked on with other areas of government, specifically with Social Security and the High Commission for Migrations (ACM), to guarantee accommodation for these people. Then, when these citizens want to stay in the country – “because many come in transit to other countries” -, work is being done on their social integration in Portugal.

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Asked about the total number of people living on the streets in Portugal, Henrique Joaquim explained that the data is under analysis and estimated that next June he will be able to “publish the data for 2022.”

“The collection ended very recently, because this time we have the response from all the Portuguese municipalities,” he added.

The coordinator of the National Strategy for Homelessness in Portugal 2017-2023 participated in the panel “Fighting homelessness: evaluation of a European platform”, organized by the European Federation of National Organizations that Work with the Homeless (FEANTSA) and the attended by the director of the institution, Freek Spinnewijn.

The Porto Social Forum, organized by the Government, aims to reaffirm the role of Social Europe and give continuity to the commitments made at the Porto Social Summit, between the Presidency of the Council of the EU, the European Commission, the European Parliament, partners and civil society, reinforcing the role of the European Pillar of Social Rights and the importance of the Action Plan, creating synergies for the Future of Europe.

Source: Observadora

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