ATHENS – Attending the presentation of the programme “Housing and Work for the Homeless” on Monday, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said it was the “state’s answer to all those who believe they are invisible, all those who we often, as we come home from a night out, see sleeping on the ground or on a bench, and usually walk by a little faster.”
“I imagine that you have felt this…and it is difficult to try to identify with the problem of the other person, even harder to try to understand what we can do to help our fellow citizens,” Mitsotakis added, speaking at an event organised by the labour and social affairs ministry at the venue “Metallourgio”.
“Since it is the job of an organised state to turn its attention primarily to our fellow citizens that have the greatest need, we have planned this programme,” the prime minister said, congratulating the ministry’s leadership and staff, as well as the civil society and municipal authorities that are collaborating on the project.
This involved converting something that was a pilot programme into a permanent programme with permanent funding of 10 million euros, he said, commenting that the true sensitivity of a state was reflected in the energy and resources that it allocates to those that have the greatest need, whether they are homeless, HIV positive, addicted, or for various reasons need state support more than others.
According to Mitsotakis, the great strength of the programme was that it combined shelter with work, as providing housing alone could not solve the problem unless the recipients were also given an opportunity to feel that they can get back on their feet, while getting work was what could give them back their dignity.
The prime minister stressed the need for greater participation by employers and greater humanity, while noting a need for more social workers in municipality services and pledging that the state will help in this direction.