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Thousands of Homeless in Greece

homeless in athensDuring the last year, the rate of homeless people in Athens is rising. The number of Greeks that have ended up on the streets, sleeping on benches is dramatically rising due to unemployment. The social services of municipalities do not have time to respond to new demands for support, and the social solidarity network is spreading.
Small or large groups of people, companies, even individuals have started helping their disadvantaged neighbors. New initiatives for helping those in need are developing consistently. Many cafés across the country offer free coffee and in addition, an apartment building was recently converted into a place to help 70 homeless; the handout of the magazine “Sxedia” (raft) is also part of the extremely successful donations.  There are also other social activities, like gathering clothes and school supplies, or the organization  soup kitchens, and “social groceries” (a concept developed to offer necessities such as food and clothing to people in need) in every neighborhood.
The latest data presented by the Municipality of Athens and the City of Athens Homeless Shelter (KYADA) is shocking. More than 20,000 residents of the capital rely on social structures of the municipality for daily survival.
Of the total of 1,667 people who participate in soup kitchens, 66% are Greeks. In fact, 44% have a high educational level, while 7.5% has a university title and four people have a master or a doctorate. Three in four (74 %) don’t have a supportive family environment as they are unmarried, divorced or separated. Seventy seven percent are unemployed and 76% of them declare zero in income. Soup kitchen provides food to 85% at least once a day, but for many, two times per day.
Regarding the homeless, half of them (49%) resort to begging and about 54% do not want support to find shelter. Moreover, of the 774 families who request to be admitted to the program social grocery, 587 are Greek.

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