The Ministry of Social Solidarity attempted to record the homeless population living in seven municipalities of Greece. In a survey conducted in collaboration with the Panteion University, the ministry captured the main demographic features of homeless people in Greece with the aim to create facilities for them in the future.
The survey was conducted in the municipalities of Athens, Piraeus, Nea Ionia in West Attica, Thessaloniki, Heraklion on Crete, Trikala in Central Greece and Ioannina in Epirus.
The survey recorded a total of 1,645 homeless. 691 of them were living on the streets and 954 in social facilities for homeless.
According to survey findings:
The majority of homeless are of Greek descent and men.
The ministry notes that before the signing of the first bailout agreement, the majority of homeless in Greece were migrants.
Majority of homeless are between 18 and 44 years old, while a small percentage are pensioners.
A large percentage of the homeless population was recorded – as expected – in Athens: 793 people, of whom 353 live on the streets.
In Thessaloniki, homeless population amounts 380 people. On the streets live 100 people and 126 in social facilities.
In Heraklion the number of homeless people reaches 119, in Ioannina 30, in Trikala 35 and in Nea Ionia 23.
Most survey respondents said that the main reason that led them to the streets was severe financial difficulties and unemployment.
The respondents said that before they found themselves on the streets they were living either by relatives or in own home or they rented.
With regards to their income:
- 25.0% said they had an income outside work
- 6% said they had occasional or permanent work
However, all respondents said that their income is not enough to provide them with a home.
- 20.6% said they receive the Social Solidarity Income.
According to Social Solidarity Minister, Theano Fotiou, aim of the pilot survey is to record the profile of the homeless in Greece and help them return to the society. She noted that a big step was that they could receive the solidarity income even though without a permanent home address. There is psychological and social support as well as the program “Home and Work.”
I heard on one television channel that several of the homeless had problems with “substances”, however, I understood that they are not drug addicts.