Homeless Shelter Plan for Athens Neighborhood Draws Fire

ATHENS – With the Greek capital sprinkled with homeless, many of them drug users, sleeping in cardboard boxes and makeshift shelters even on main streets, the Athens municipality is going to try a plan to offer accommodation in a dormitory structure.

That will be in the downtown area of Agios Pavlos but the scheme is already seeing resistance from residents there who don't want it, although the city is already planning similar shelters in western Attica and the port of Piraeus.

The city is also planning to launch mobile units for supervised drug use and to boost the efforts of social workers on the city’s streets, reaching out to drug users and giving them clean needles to protect themselves from disease, said Kathimerini.

Potini Leobilla, President of the municipality’s addiction prevention center said that, “Within the next six months we expect to have the specific vehicles that can also be used as mobile medical units,” the report also added.

Earlier, the New Democracy government that street sellers of a magazine about the homeless will get a benefit, vendors for the magazine Sxedia (Raft,) most of whom were homeless or at risk of being so would get a retroactive 534-euro ($636) for January and February.

Earlier in March, the British newspaper The Guardian reported some 2,000 refugees were at risk of being left homeless by the termination of an EU-funded program providing cash assistance and temporary shelter to people granted asylum.


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