Economic crisis creates 'new homeless' in Greece

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Economic crisis creates 'new homeless' in Greece

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Greece’s economic problems are creating an upsurge in homelessness, according to a non-governmental organisation in the country. Klimaka says the number of people without a home has risen by 25 per cent since 2009, with more of the middle class being affected.

Aris Violatzis, a psychologist working for Klimaka Psychologist, said many have found their situation has changed: “The new homeless generation – the ‘new homeless’ – are homeless particularly for financial reasons. They are people who are unemployed and come from middle and higher educational backgrounds. They used to have an adequate lifestyle.”

In the past, those who found themselves homeless tended to be people with drug or mental health problems, unlike Kostas Paptheodorou, who now finds himself in that predicament: “I was in construction for 27 years then the construction sector went through a large crisis and that is how my decline began. In the end, I ended up on the streets.”

The unemployment rate hit a record high of more than 16.5 per cent in May. Soon more of these people may be needing the shelters and services provided by Klimaka.